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Tappan PresDuterlan flssoclatlon ] 



IaIBRARY 



I (Presented by HON. D. BETHUNE DUFPIELD. \ 

I From Library of Rev. Geo. Duffield, D.D. \ 

I i 



l„la'(l,H,t,.|...l»«.»l^v" 




Br 






THE 



NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 



For MACMILLAN & Co, 

ftOflton : BELL AND DALDY. 
Oxfart: J. H. AND JAMES PARKEll. 
<!»(ntttT8ti: EDMONSTON AND DOUGLAS. 
Butlin: WILLIAM ROBERTSON. 
•lasoalD: JAMES MACLEHOSB. 



I>(^L 



- 



7 3 7.3 c V 



THB 



NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT 



AND ITS RELATION TO 



REMISSION OF SINS 



AKD 



ETERNAL LIFE. 



BY 



JOHN M^'LEOD CAMPBELL. 

r 



MACMILLAN AND Co. 

1856. 



1^ 



3 'Xf -/n3 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED IN THE ATONEMENT AWAKEN 
THE EXPECTATION THAT WE ABE TO UNDERSTAND 



X ITS NATURE 



s\ CHAPTEft II. 

TEACHING OP LUTHER 32 

CHAPTER III 

CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT 

EDWARDS 49 

CHAPTER IV. 

CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED . . . .75 

CHAPTER V. 

REASON FOR NOT RESTING IN THE CONCEPTION OF THE 
NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT ON WHICH THESE SYS- 
TEMS PROCEED. — ^THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN BY 
ITS OWN LIGHT 113 

CHAPTER VI. 

RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT . .128 



vi CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VII. 

PAGE 

PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT . . .150 



CHAPTER YIII. 

FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED AND NECESSARY 
CHARACTER OF SALVATION AS DETERMINING THE 
NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT AND THE FORM OF THE 
GRACE OF GOD TO MAN 191 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT IN THE 

ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PRAYER . . .227 



CHAPTER X. 

THE ATONEMENT, AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE DETAILS OF 

THE SACRED NARRATIVE 240 



CHAPTER XL 

HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF THE SUFFERINGS OF 
CHRIST, DURING THAT CLOSING PERIOD OF WHICH 
SUFFERING WAS THE DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER . 253 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH THE ATONEMENT 
WAS PERFECTED, CONSIDERED IN THEIR RELATION, 
1ST, TO HIS WITNESSING FOR GOD TO MEN, AND 
2DLY, TO HIS DEALING WITH GOD ON BEHALF OF 
MEN 273 



CONTENTS. vii 



CHAPTER Xin. 

PAGE 

THE DEATH OF CHRIST CONTEMPLATED AS HIS " TASTING 
DEATH," AND ^* FOE EVERY MAN;" AND THE LIGHT 
IT SHEDS ON HIS LIFE, AND ON THAT FELLOWSHIP 
IN HIS LIFE, THROUGH BEING CONFORMED TO HIS 
DEATH, TO WHICH WE ARE CALLED . . . 295 

CHAPTER XIV. 

COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW NOW TAKEN 
OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT AS TO (1) LIGHT, 
(2) UNITY AMD SIMPLICITY, (3) A NATURAL RELATION 
TO CHRISTIANITY, AND (4) HARMONY WITH THE DI- 
VINE RIGHTEOUSNESS 314 



CHAPTER XV. 

THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, THE ULTIMATE 
TRUTH ON WHICH FAITH MUST HERE ULTIMATELY 
REST •••••••<• tJu^E 

CHAPTER XVI. 

CONCLUSION 371 



THE 



NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED IN THE ATONEMENT AWAKEN 
THE EXPECTATION THAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND ITS 
NATURE. 

THE fundamental place which the atonement occupies 



;-j., 


ERRATA. 


PAGE 


LINE 


76 


15 for meaning read meeting. 


103 


27 for which faith read which in faith. 


110 


11 after Christ for ; read , 


166 


22 for Himself read himself. 


266 


2 from bottom yor Him and Spirit read him and spirit. 


319 


16 for born read borne. 


367 


17 for gives men read gives me men. 



^JLt^ JLK/ VJL a*^^* TV < !■'!■ ^/AA^^ T \^X 



aspect of the subject we may regard as the most im- 
portant, or as having in it most light. 

The question between the Reformers and the Church 
of Rome — ^the question of justification by faith alone — 
was most closely connected with the second aspect of 
the atonement, viz. what it has accomplished. The 
discussions which subsequently divided the Reformers 
among themselves turned on the first; being as to 
whether the atonement had been made for all men^ 
or for an election only. Much recent advocacy of the 
atonement has dealt freely with the third point, i. e. 
what the atonement is in itself, as to which there was 

CAMPB. 1 



THE 

NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 

CHAPTER L 

THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED IN THE ATONEMENT AWAKEN 
THE EXPECTATION THAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND ITS 
NATURE. 

^HE fiindamental place which the atonement occupies 
-■- in Christianity, gives importance to every aspect in 
which it can be contemplated. Of these aspects the chief 
are, its reference, its object^ and its nature. For whom 
was it made? what was it intended to accomplish? 
what has it been in itself? - 

These are distinct questions, though the discussion 
of any one of them has generally more or less involved 
that of the other two. Certainly to be in possession of 
the true answer to any one of them must be a help in 
seeking the answers of the others ; as also a misconcep- 
tion as to the answer of one must tend to mislead us in 
our consideration of the others. This is true, whichever 
aspect of the subject we may regard as the most im- 
portant, or as having in it most light. 

The question between the Reformers and the Church 
of Rome — ^the question of justification by faith alone — 
was most closely connected with the second aspect of 
the atonement, viz. what it has accomplished. The 
discussions which subsequently divided the Reformers 
among themselves turned on the first; being as to 
whether the atonement had been made for all men, 
or for an election only. Much recent advocacy of the 
fttonement has dealt freely with the third point, L e. 
what the atonement is in itself, as to which there was 

CAMPB. 1 



2 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

no question raised in the earlier discussions^ but as to 
which it has been latterly felt, that the other questions 
could not be rightly taken up until this one was more 
closely considered ; and as to which the advocates of 
the universaUty of the atonement have begun to feel^ 
that the received conceptions of its nature have given 
to the advocates of an atonement referring to an elec* 
tion only^ an advantage in argument which a true 
apprehension of what the atonement has been would do 
away with. 

It is this third aspect of the atonement — i. e. its 
nature — that I now propose to consider; which I pro- 
pose to do with more immediate reference to the second 
aspect of the atonement^ viz. what it has accomplished 
— i. e. its relation to the remission of sins, and the gift 
of eternal life. The first point, viz. the extent of the 
reference of the atonement, it is no part of my imme- 
diate purpose to discuss. I believe that the atonement 
has been an atonement for sin, having reference to all 
mankind ; I believe this to be distinctly revealed ; I 
believe it to be also implied in what the atonement is 
in itself But it is the illustration of the nature of the 
atonement which I have immediately in view ; for it is 
in the prevailing state of men's minds on this subject 
that I feel a call to write. 

I have just noticed that the exigencies of contro- 
versy, and the natural desire to give a philosophical 
harmony to theological system, has recently led to a 
reconsideration of the subject of the nature of the 
atonement. I shall subsequently have occasion to 
notice particularly what the result has been ; and why , 
I am not satisfied with that result : which had I been, 
I should gladly have felt this volume superseded. But 
the intellectual exigencies of systems are, if real, closely 
connected with the spiritual exigencies of the living 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 8 

man; and something higher than an intellectual de- 
mand, though that is not to be slighted as if it were 
not of God also, is felt to call for light on the nature of 
the atonement, when previously received conceptions no 
longer satisfy conscience, developed, and spiritually 
enlightened. The internal evidence of Christianity all 
prize, and anything felt to be a real addition to it all 
must welcome, though the freedom with which men 
seek such increase in the internal light of the gospel, is 
various. Some, indeed, may give too much ground for 
the charge of intellectual arrogance, in the demand they 
make for internal evidence at every step ; whUe others, 
while thankfiilly receiving such evidence, fall into the 
error of treating it as something over and above what 
was needed for faith. I believe the former little realise 
how much more they believe than they understand; 
and I believe the latter as little realise how much their 
reception of what they beUeve depends ultimately upon 
what of it they do understand, and spiritually discern 
to be to the glory of God. I am not now to write on 
the nature of the atonement as one whose first faith in 
the atonement rested on a clear understanding of its 
nature ; and yet I do not look back on that first faith 
as unwarranted and unreal. Our first faith may have 
in it elements which are true and abiding, although min- 
gled with much darkness, which, in the low undeveloped 
condition of conscience, causes us no pain or uneasiness. 
As the divine life is developed in us, these two things 
proceed happily together, viz. a growing capacity of 
judging what the conditions are of a peace with God 
in ftdl harmony with his name and character; and the 
apprehension of these conditions as all present in the 
atonement. But it would be altogether in contradic* 
tion to the nature of that love, which, while we were 
yet sinners, gave Christ to die for us, to suppose that 

1—2 



4 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

irue yieldings to the drawings of that love, however 
dimly and imperfectly apprehended, ever deceive the 
heart; or that the hope towards God, which accom- 
panies them, can ever disappoint. To come to see 
more of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ 
is not to come to see reason to conclude that my hope 
was vain while I saw less. Yet surely, on the other 
hand, that God acknowledged me while I saw least, 
yet seeing something truly, is no reason why I should 
not seek to see more, — ^yea as much as God may give 
me to see. 

The kindness and love of God our Saviour towards 
man— the grace of God which hath appeared bringing 
salvation to all men — has a twofold aspect; the one 
retrospective, referring to the evil from which that 
grace brings dehverance; the other prospective, refer- 
ring to the good which it bestows. Of that evil men 
have the varied and sad experience, as they have also 
feelings that may be interpreted as longings after that 
good; but that experience is unintelligent and these 
longings are vague, and the grace which brings salva- 
tion is itself the light which reveals both our need of 
salvation, and what the salvation is which we need; 
explaining to us the mystery of our dark experience, 
and directing our aimless longings to the unknown 
hope which was for us in God. 

The light which reveals to us the evil of our con- 
dition as sinners, and the good of which God saw the 
capacity still to remain with us, reveals to us, at the 
same time, the greatness of the gulf which separated 
these two conditions of humanity; and the way in 
which the desire which arose in God, as the Father 
of spirits, to bridge over that gulf, has been accom- 
plished. That way is the atonement; as to which it 
is certain that, if we were so far from seeing the evil 



IN THE ATONBMBNT. 



of our own evil state as God saw it, and, I may say, 
so much farther still from being conscious to the 
measure of our own capacity of good, the way in which 
God was to accomplish the desire of his love for us 
we could not have of ourselves anticipated, but G<xi 
himself must make it known to us. 

But we know that, though the gospel alone sheds 
clear and perfect light on the evil of man's condition 
as a sinner, conscience fully recognises the truth of 
that revelation of ourselves which the gospel makes 
to us. Were it otherwise, assuredly its light would 
be no light to us. So also as to the gift of eternal 
life. When that gift is revealed to our faith, its suit- 
ableness to us, and fitness to fill all our capacities of 
well-being as God's ofispring, is discerned by us in 
proportion as we are awakened to true self-conscious- 
ness, and learn to separate between what God made 
us, and what we have become through sin. And, in 
like manner, I believe that the atonement, related as 
it must needs be, retrospectively to the condition of 
evil from which it is the purpose of God to save us, 
and prospectively to the condition of good to which 
it is his purpose to raise us, will commend itself to 
our faith by the inherent light of its divine adaptation 
to accomplish all which it has been intended to accom-^ 
plish. Nor can I doubt that the high prerogative 
which belongs to us of discerning, and, in our measure, 
appreciating the divine wisdom, as well as the divine 
goodness, in other regions of God's acting, extends to 
this region also; which doubtless is the highest region 
of all, but which, while the highest, is also the region 
in which our human consciousness, and the teaching 
of the Spirit of God in conscience, should help our under- 
standings most. When the apostle represents himself 
as by manifestation of the truth commending himself 



6 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

to every man's conscience in the sight of God, we are 
not to doubt that he so speaks with reference, no less 
to the atonement itself than to the high ends which 
it contemplates. 

In this view the internal evidence of the atonement 
ought to be the securest stronghold of Christianity: 
whereas we find many who profess to rest all their 
hope of acceptance with God upon the atonement, 
receiving it as a mystery which they do not feel it 
needful to understand; so that to them it is no part 
of the evidence of revelation, being commended to 
their faith only by the authority of a revelation itself 
received upon other grounds; while there are others 
to whom the presence of that doctrine in revelation 
is a strong objection to revelation itself. In this state 
of things it is natural to ask, " Can it be that concep- 
tion of the atonement which the apostle expected 
would commend itself to every man's conscience in 
the sight of God which some thus treat as an argument 
against revelation, and which others, while receiving it, 
hold only as a mystery?" and the latter part of the 
question is the more difficult : for a rebellious spirit may 
reject revelation for the very reason for which it has 
most claim to be received; while a meek, obedient 
spirit may be expected at once to receive and to under- 
stand. For the secret of the Lord is with them that 
fear him, and he will shew them his covenant. 

The lowest measure of internal evidence claimed 
for the doctrine of the atonement is, that conscience 
testifies to a need be for an atonement. It has been 
usual, in arguing with those who refuse to concede 
even this much, to urge the fact that in all nations, 
in every age, men have sought to atone for sin by 
sacrifice. Whether this practice be referable to the 
universal tradition of an original institution of sacrifice. 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 7 

or be regarded as a consentaneous utterance of hu- 
manity^ expressing its thoughts independently at all 
successive periods, and in places the most remote from 
each other, it is unquestionably an arresting fiwit. But, 
not to found a sweeping rejection of all the elements of 
the worship of the heathen on the testimony that they 
sacrificed to devils and not to God, even in the highest 
view that can be taken, their worship was that of '^ the 
unknown God,'' and, when brought by us to a higher 
hght, must be judged by that higher light. If, in 
attempting so to judge, one man says, — "I see here 
sacrifices oflfered to propitiate the divine favour. They 
are offered in manifest ignorance, for some of them are 
monstrous and revolting, and the least objectionable 
are manifestly inadequate to the end contemplated ; but 
stm we must respect the feelings that suggested sa^ri- 
fice ; " another may reply, " To me the feeling and its 
expression are alike referable to radical ignorance of 
God." Clearly the determination of this controversy 
must be sought elsewhere than in the historical fact 
which is its subject. 

As to the use that has been made of the recorded 
instances of heroic self-sacrifice connected with assumed 
divine requirements, — in reference to which it has been 
lately beautifully said that the love of Christ was " fore- 
shadowed in these weaker acts of love'' (Thomson, 
p. 35)^ — however much we must admire the self-devo- 
tion manifested, it is not very clear how far the moral 
element in the sacrifice, by which the person sacrificing 
himself was endeared to those for whose sakes he so 
devoted himself, was that which was supposed to give 
its value to the sacrifice in the eyes of the angry deities 
whom it was sought to propitiate. All that the demand 
implied was the high value of the offering to those 
from whom it was required, and the qifended gods may 



8 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

have been thought of only as accepting what cost the 
people dearly; as Moloch received the children cast 
into the fire. But if indeed we are to conclude that 
the spirit of self-sacrifice in the victim was recognised 
as constituting the virtue of the sacrifice, there is here 
unquestionably a marvellous ray of light, from the 
midst of that gross darkness, shed upon the nature of 
atonement. 

But if the testimony of conscience on the subject 
of the need be for an atonement, is sought in the 
history of religion, let it be sought in the history of 
Christianity: and let not this seem a begging of the 
question. No man is entitled to put aside the asser- 
tion of a true man, declaring what the testimony of his 
conscience is, because that testimony coincides with the 
man's faith. And to those who say that they find in 
themselves no internal testimony to the doctrine of the 
atonement, we present a fact which no serious mind 
will lightly put aside, when we refer, not to the dark 
and blind endeavours of the heathen to propitiate an 
unknown God, but to the experience, recorded by them- 
selves, of those who, in aU ages of the Church, have 
seemed to have attained to the highest knowledge of 
God, and closest communion with him, and who have 
professed that they have seen a glory of God in the 
cross of Christ; that is, in the atonement as the chan- 
nel through which sinfiil man receives the pardon of 
sin and eternal life. No one, indeed, is called upon to 
constrain his conscience to adopt the testimony of the 
conscience of others, whoever they may ba But if a 
man imderstand the nature of conscience, and realise 
how imperfect its development usually is, and how 
much the more matured Christian mind of one man 
may, without dictating, aid the faith of another man, 
he can never m^e little account of the conclusions on 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 9 

this great subject at which men characterised by holi- 
ness, and love to God and man, have arrived. 

But the question is not to be decided by authority. 
Nor would I seem to be insensible — for I am not — to 
the force of what may be urged, even in reference to 
the recorded experience of the better portion of the 
Church, as to the extent to which theological systems, 
and traditional habits of thought, may affect, and have 
affected, religious experiences. I have, indeed, seen, 
in cases of deep awakening of spirit on the subject of 
religion, an identity of experience in reference to this 
matter under teachings so very different as to form of 
thought, as to preclude the idea that these experiences 
were an echo of the teaching; while, most certainly, 
they were not traceable to any previous habits of 
thought in the taught. But I dwell not on the argu- 
ment from this source, as no man will, or should accept 
the doctrine of the atonement because it has com- 
mended itself to the consciences of others while it does 
not as yet commend itself to his own. 

But a response in conscience as contemplated by 
the apostle, iipUes much more than a reception of 
a need be for an atonement ; nor can it be regarded as 
accomplished, unless the atonement revealed be felt to 
commend itself by its own internal light, and its divine 
fitness to accomplish the high ends of God in it. And 
as this presupposes that these ends are themselves seen 
in the light of God, it is necessary, before proceeding 
ftuther, to fix attention for a little, on the amount of 
the assertion, that there is a response in conscience to 
the testimony of the gospel regarding the evil con- 
dition in which the grace of God finds us, and the 
excellence of the salvation which it brings. 

When it is said that the representations of revela- 
tion on the subject of our sin and guilt, and need of 



10 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

forgiveness, have a response in conscience, this is 
not asserted on the ground of the ordinary habit of 
thought of men's minds on these subjects, or of the 
feeling with which they usually treat the statements 
of the word of God regarding them. Men, indeed, 
readily enough confess that they are sinners, and that 
they need forgiveness; but this does not at all imply 
that they understand the charge of guilt, which the Scrip- 
tures contain, far less respond to it; or that they have 
any conception of the forgiveness which they need, 
while they speak about it so easily. How far it is other- 
wise becomes very manifest when the reality of sin 
is steadily contemplated, and the charge of guilt is 
weighed, and the testimony of conscience in reference 
to that charge is calmly listened to, and its solemn 
import is considered. All the experience that now 
ensues, shews how much the fact of sin is a discovery 
to the awakened sinner. Seeing what it amounts to, 
he now shrinks from the admission which he had pre- 
viously made so easily ; — ^though he may not now dare 
to recall it; — while, as to forgiveness, in proportion as 
he comes to understand that he really needs it, he finds 
it difficult to believe that he himself, and his own sins, 
can be the subject of it. As long as to confess that 
I am a sinner is felt to be nothing more than to confess 
that my moral state is an imperfect one, that it presents 
a mixture of good and evil, — that much in me needs 
forgiveness,— I cannot say how much; whHe I trust 
that there is also good in me which God accepts, and 
which may so far counterbalance the evil, I can easily 
say, ^'I know I am a sinner; but I trust in God's 
mercy." But when the light of that word, '' Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with 
all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself," shines 



IN THE A.T0TSXU1SST. 11 

in upon me, and the clear, calm, solemn testimony 
wit A is h^xd responding, "It i^ true^o it ought 
to be ;" and in proportion as I am honest with myself 
I feel constrained to reply, '^ But it is not so with me, 
I do not so love God, I do not so love my neighbour;" 
then the case is altogether changed. I am tempted to 
turn away, alike from the testimony of Scripture, and 
the testimony of conscience,— shrinking from the con- 
fession whic{ if I listen and reply honestly, I must 
make. Or, if I am too much awakened, and too much 
in earnest, so to tamper with the light that is dawning 
on me, — if I feel that I must look this terrible fact 
of sin ftiU in the face, and do look at it; then does the 
forgiveness, of which I spoke easily while I knew not 
what it was to be forgiven, become to me most difficult 
of faith. 

Now it is not strange, or, in one sense, wrong, that 
we should shrink from the feeling of simple unqualified 
guilt. It would not be well that it should be otherwise 
than both painftil and terrible to conclude that, in the 
sight of God, I am guilty of not loving God, and not 
loving men. Things would be worse than they are 
with us, if such a discovery could be without causing 
both self-loathing and fear. Nor, as to forgiveness, 
is it to be wondered at, that, when we really come to 
understand that we need it, we find it most difficult 
to believe in it. God has been to us too much an 
unknown God, and our thoughts of him too far re- 
moved from the apprehension that there is forgiveness 
with God that he may be feared, to permit it to be 
otherwise. But, however painfrd the discovery of our 
sin, and however unprepared we may be to bear it by 
the knowledge of the help that is for us in God, the 
thoroughly awakened conscience, or rather conscience 
when we are thoroughly awakened to hear its voice, 



T 

I; 



12 THE ENDS CONTEMPIiATED 

forces upon us the conviction, that the testimony of the 
Scriptures as to our sin and guilt before God, and our 
need of forgiveness, -of a forgiveness that shaJl be 
purdy and simply such, — the forgiving of a debt to 
one who has nothing to pay, is just and true. 

If any will not concede this much, — if any will 
extenuate the guilt of sin by referring what man is to 
his circumstances, — or by treating his moral condition 
as a low state of development, corresponding to that in 
which intellectually he is found in savage life, and if 
the forgiveness needed be thus reduced to the lowest 
possible amount, until, indeed, it ceases to be forgive- 
ness, and there is room left only for a benevolent pity 
at the most ; from persons in this mind I cannot expect 
that they will take the next step with me in this path, 
seeing they do not take the first. But, although I can 
concede much qualification of the apprehension of sin 
which we find uttered by newly awakened sinners, and 
admit that their language is very much affected by 
their ignorance of God, and the perturbing effect of the 
awful discovery as to their own moral and spiritual 
state which they have made, I cannot qualify the asser- 
tion, that the testimony of Scripture as to the reality 
and guilt of sin, and the sinner's dependence upon free 
grace for pardon, has a clear and unequivocal response 
in conscience ; the recognition of which response on the 
sinner's part, is the proper attitude for his mind to 
assume, in listening to, and weighing the doctrine of 
the atonement. 

Nay, more, looking at sin in reference to a still 
deeper weighing of a man's own state as a sinner, 
I believe that the experience which the apostle Paul 
speaks of, in the close of the seventh chapter of his 
Epistle to the Romans, must be recognised as the com- 
pleteness of that development of conscience, which fitly 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 13 

prepares the mind for understanding and welcoming 
the atonement. I refer to that condition of the human 
spirit in which a man has so seen the claims of the law 
of God in the light of conscience, that he can say, " I 
delight in the law of God after the inner man," while, 
by that same light, he judges what his own flesh is, 
and what its power over him makes him to be ; so that 
he says, " I find a law in my members warring against 
the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to 
the law of sin that is in my members," and his hearths 
cry is, '* O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver 
me from the body of this death?" Until, not only the 
contrariety that is between sin and the law of God, and 
the position of guilt in which it places the sinner, are 
seen in the light of conscience ; but, beyond this, the 
inward contradiction with the law of his own well- 
being, and with that which he must recognise as the 
true ideal of excellence for humanity, is also seen in 
that light, and painfully felt, a man is not truly having 
the full testimony of conscience on the subject of sin, 
or conscious in himself to that foil response which is in 
man to the teaching of revelation on this subject. And 
until a man has come to stand at this point, he is not 
fully prepared to consider the atonement retrospectively, 
that is, in its relation to the evil condition from which 
it is our deliverance. 

As to the testimony of conscience to the discovery 
of revelation on the subject of the gift of eternal life, to 
which the atonement has prospective reference, the fact 
of this testimony is not alleged on the ground of men's 
ordinary habits of thought and feeling, in this case any 
more than in the former. The intelligent apprehen- 
sion of that which is said, when it is said, that " God 
has given to us eternal life," and the enlightened 
0elf-consdousness in which that gift is welcomed as 



14 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

altogether suited to man^ and the highest good of which 
he is capable, imply a development of conscience, and a 
clearness of inward Ught, beyond even what the fullest 
reception of the teaching of the Bible on the subject 
of sin, and guilt, and spiritual death, supposes. 

But conscience is capable of such development ; and 
eternal life may be apprehended by us as a manner of 
existence — a kind of life, the elements of which we 
understand, the excellence of which commends itself 
to us, and our own capacity for participation in which 
as originally created in God's image, and apart from 
our bondage to sin, we can discern in ourselves. 

I speak of eternal life — ^that life which was with 
the Father before the world was, and which is ma- 
nifested in the Son — of his own acquaintance with 
which as a life lived in humanity, through his ac- 
quaintance with Him in whom it was manifested, the 
apostle John speaks with such fiilness of expression 
in the beginning of his first epistle. I do not speak 
of an unknown future blessedness, in a future state 
of being, of which conscience can understand nothing; 
but I speak of a life which in itself is one and the 
same here and hereafter, — however it may be deve- 
loped in us hereafter, beyond its development here. 
Of this life conscience can take cognisance, its elements 
it can understand and consider, — comparing them with 
the elements of that other perishing hfe of which man 
has experience; and, taking both to the light of what 
man is as God's offspring, it can, in that light, decide 
on the excellence of eternal life, and on the great grace 
of God in bestowing it, and the perfect salvation in 
which man partakes in receiving it. How little men's 
consciences address themselves to this high task, is 
too manifest; inasmuch as ordinary religion is so much 
a struggle to secure an unknown future happiness, 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 15 

instead of being the meditation on, and tiie wel- 
coming of the present gift of eternal life. But to 
this high task conscience is equal, and to engage in 
it is the imperative demand which tiie preachmg of 
the gospel makes on it, that preaching which seeks 
to commend itself to every man's conscience in the 
sight of God. 

This, then, is the second part of the due preparation 
for considering the nature of the atonement, with the 
purpose of coming to know what response that doc- 
trine has in the heart of man, viz.— that the gift of 
eternal life, revealed as bestowed on us through the 
atonement, be taken to the light of conscience; and 
what that gift is, be there seen; and the high result 
that is accomplished in man in his coming to live 
that Ufe, be truly conceived of For thus having 
before the mind what God has proposed to do through 
the atonement, now prospectively, as formerly retro- 
spectively, there is the likelihood that its nature, and 
its suitableness for accomplishing the divine end, shall 
become visible to us; if that may be at all. 

These two extreme points being clearly conceived 
of, and together present to the mind ; and the evil 
condition of man which the gospel reveals, and the 
blessed condition to which it raises our hopes, being 
seen in the light of conscience, developed to this degree 
under the teaching of God; the gulf which separates 
them is seen to be very great. We are contemplating 
extreme opposites, in the highest and most solemn region 
of things : — spiritual darkness and death, sin and guilt, 
the righteous condemnation and wrath of God, inward 
disorder and strife between man and the law of his own 
well-being; — from these our thoughts pass to divine 
hght filling humanity, eternal life partaken in, righteous- 
ness and holiness, the acceptance and favour of God, 



16 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

inward harmony experienced in the fiilfilment in man^ 
of that ideal for him which was in the divine mind 
from the beginning. 

It is difficult for us to realise the opposite states^ 
which, by such words, we attempt to describe. The 
very words we use, though we know them to be the 
right words, we use with the consciousness, that they 
have, in our Hps, but a small part of theii meaning. K 
we set ourselves steadfastly to study their use in the 
Scriptures, and listen with open ear and heart to the 
interpretation of them, which conscience, under the 
teaching of the Holy Spirit, accepts, we find these 
awfiil realities of evil and good, becoming gradually 
more and more palpable and real to us; so that they 
come to be felt as the only realities, and existence 
comes to have its interest entirely in relation to them. 
But the wings of our &ith do not long sustain this 
flight. Not that we come to doubt the conclusions at 
which in such seasons we have arrived; but that, so to 
speak, we descend from this high region of Hght and 
truth, and come down to the earth, and to ordinary 
human Hfe, and the conditions of humanity that present 
themselves around us; and, looking at men and women 
as they are, and at the mixture of good and evil which 
they exhibit, — seeing also ourselves in others — we prac- 
tically reconcile ourselves to them, and to ourselves ; and 
the vision of unmixed evil, and of perfect good, fades 
from our remembrance, or, at best, from having been felt 
as that which was most real, becomes but as an ideal. 

One cause of the practical difficulty that is expe- 
rienced in keeping our habitual thoughts and feelings 
in harmony with the perceptions of our most far-seeing 
moments, is this, that the world in which we are is 
actually a mixture of good and evil; that it presents 
neither the unmixed evil of which the Scriptures speak, 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 17 

and to which conscience testifies as man's sinful state, 
nor thie unmixed good, which the Scriptures reveal, and 
which, in the light of conscience, we recognise as eternal 
life. We are not in a world yet unvisited by the grace 
of God ; on the contrary, we are encompassed by fruits 
of that very atonement in which we are called to believe. 
Nay, the appearances presented in man's condition as 
we know it, which have furnished the objectors to the 
atonement with their most specious arguments, are 
actually to be traced to that atonement itself; while, at 
the same time, the power for good which belongs to the 
atonement, and its true working, have no perfect reali- 
sation in what men are seen to be ; for none are, simply 
and absolutely, what the atonement would make them; 
so that, on the one side, none are seen so far from God 
as, but for the atonement, they would have been; — 
while, on the other hand, none are seen so near to God 
as it has been the end of the atonement to bring them. 
The light shining in the darkness modifies the darkness, 
even while the darkness comprehends it not; — and, even 
where it is comprehended, the darkness is not yet seen 
altogether destroyed by it. 

Therefore we must, in studying the subject of the 
atonement, exercise our minds to abide in that sense 
and perception of things to which we attain, when the 
teaching of the Bible, as to the sinful state from which 
the atonement delivers us, and the eternal life which 
through it we receive, is having a full response in con- 
science. So shall we see the work of God in Christ in 
the light of a true apprehension of what that work had 
to accomplish; and shall not fall into the error of 
allowing the partial eflfects of that work itself to be 
to us arguments for doubting its necessity and reality. 

The first demand which the gospel makes upon us, 
in relation to the atonement, is, that we believe that 

CAMPB. 2 



18 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

there is forgiveness with God. Foi]giveiiess — that is^ 
love to an enemy surviving his eninily^ and which, 
notwithstanding his enmity^ can act towards him for 
his good; this we must be able to believe to be in 
God toward us, in order that we may be able to believe 
in the atonement. 

This is a &ith which, in the order of things, must 
precede the faith of an atonement. If we could our-- 
selves make an atonement for our sins, as by sacrifice 
the heathen attempted to do, and as, in their self- 
righteous endeavours to make their peace with God, 
men are, in fact, daily attempting, then such an 
atonement might be thought of as preceding forgive- 
ness, and the cause of it. But if God provides the 
atonement, then forgiveness must precede atonement; 
and the atonement must be the form of the mani- 
festation of the forgiving love of God, not its cause. 

But surely the demand for the faith that there is 
forgiveness in God has a response in conscience; and 
doubtless it is, in part at least, ignorance of God that 
causes the difficulty in believing in forgiveness, which 
is felt when an actual need of forgiveness that shall 
be purely such, is realised. For it ought not to be 
difficult to believe that, though we have sinned against 
God, God still regards us with a love which has 
survived our sins. Nay more, we cannot realise the 
two ideas with reference to man which we have just 
been considering, viz. — the evil state into which sin 
has brought him, and the opposite good state of which 
the capacity has remained in him, as together present 
to the mind of the Father of the spirits of all flesh, 
without feeling that he must desire to bridge over the 
gulf* that separates these two conceived conditions of 
humanity; — ^that if it can be bridged over He will 
bridge it over; that, if that conceivable good for man 



IN THE ATONEMENT. l9 

is a possible good for man, it will be put within man*s 
reach. Therefore, the first tone that catches the ear 
of the heart in hearing the gospel being, that ''there 
is forgiveness with God/' it ought not to be felt 
difficult to believe this joyful sound. It ought to 
have, and doubtless it has an answer in conscience. 

The expression once familiar to the lips of minis- 
ters of Christ in our land, and which the greater 
awakenedness of their people's minds on the subject of 
sin, caused them to feel the need of practically, viz. 
"that it is the greatest sin to despair of God's mercy," 
surely is a record of the inward sense of mercy as 
entering into our original and fundamental apprehension 
of God : ''Unto us belong shame and conftision of face : 
unto the Lord our God belongeth mercy," is an instinc- 
tive utterance of the human heart. Accordingly, when 
our Lord teaches us to "love our enemies that we may 
be the children of our Father in heaven, who makes his 
sun to shine on the evil and on the good," he assumes, 
that the witness without which God has never from the 
beginning left himself, in that he has given rain from 
heaven and fruitful seasons, has addressed something 
in man which could interpret the acting of love to 
enemies. 

The atonement, I say, presupposes that there is 
forgiveness with God; and in doing so has a response 
in conscience. But this is not the question which the 
doctrine of the atonement raises, neither is it because 
it implies such forgiveness that it has been objected 
to: on the contrary, the objection has been made, — 
but an objection that could apply only to a false view 
of the atonement, — ^that that doctrine did not recognise 
the mercy that is essentially in God, inasmuch as it 
represented God as needing to be propitiated — ^to be 
made gracious. An atonement to make God gracious, 

2 — 2 



20 THK ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

to move him to compassion, to turn his heart toward 
those from whom sin had alienated his love, it would, 
indeed, be difficult to believe in ; for, if it were needed 
it would be impossible. To awaken to the sense of 
the need of such an atonement, would certainly be 
to awaken to utter and absolute despair. But the 
Scriptures do not speak of such an atonement; for 
they do not represent the love of God to man as the 
effect, and the atonement of Christ as the cause, but, 
— -just the contrary, — ^they represent the love of God 
as the cause, and the atonement as the effect. "God 
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him, might not perish, but 
have everlasting life." 

Those, therefore, who object to the doctrine of the 
atonement on the assumption that the atonement is 
presented to them as the cause of God's forgiving love, 
are placed under a great disadvantage by this misap- 
prehension of the demand that is made on their faith. 
What they are asked to believe has its difficulties, — 
and I do not wish to understate these; but they are 
as nothing in comparison; and let them learn with 
thankfiilness, that that is not the true conception of 
the atonement which has so repelled them. That which 
they are really asked to consider as what, it is expected, 
being truly apprehended, will commend itself to con- 
science in the sight of God, is the way in which the 
forgiving love of God has manifested itself for the 
salvation of sinful men. 

Those who, being under no misapprehension on 
this point, still draw back from the faith of the atone- 
ment, do so as feeling a difficulty which may be thus 
expressed: Seeing that there is forgiveness with God, 
that he may be feared, and that his love not only 
survives men's transgressions, but can confer new gifts 



IN THE ATONEMENT, 21 

on those who have transgressed, why should not this 
love be manifested without an atonement ? Why should 
not the pardon of sin as an act of Divine Clemency 
be simply intimated ? Why should not this new and 
great gift of eternal Hfe be simply bestowed, and pre- 
sented to men as the rich bounty of God ? 

I have referred to the difficulty which a thoroughly 
awakened sinner feels in believing that God will pardon 
his sins, and grant to him eternal life; and such an 
objector would say, "Why should he feel any such 
difficulty? Is it not the evidence of a morbid moral 
state so to feel?" Now I have admitted that the 
feeling in question, arises in part from the extent to 
which God has been previously an unknown God. 
But only in part. There are other elements in that 
difficulty which are connected with the dawn of a 
true knowledge of God. God's mercy has not been 
previously apprehended, otherwise it would be felt 
wrong to despair of it; — but neither have God's hoh- 
ness and righteousness, and his wrath against sin been 
previously apprehended; — and the fears, represented as 
indications of a morbid moral state, are, I believe, in 
reahty the effect of Hght visiting the spirit of the 
man — flight as to the real sinfulness of sin, and its 
contrariety to the mind of God. Admitting that 
there is much perturbation of mind; — admitting that 
the light that is shed upon the truth of man's moral 
and spiritual condition, is but partial, and that the 
name of God and its glory have not yet shone in 
upon his soul and conscience full orbed, — still it is 
light that is visiting the man who uses language as 
to his own sinfulness, and the deserts of his sin, with 
the expression of fears as to the wrath of God, which 
the objector would refer to a morbid state of mind, — 
fears which may, indeed, seem extravagant, and almost 



22 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

madness to others who have not yet taken themselves, 
and what they are in themselves, to that light of God 
in which he sees himself, and who can therefore speak 
to him of trusting in God's mercy, and rebuke his fears, 
so easily ; not because they know more of God's mercy 
and forgiveness than he does, but because they have 
such different apprehensions of that sin, as to which 
forgiveness is needed. 

Nor is the distress experienced connected with the 
forgiveness of past sin alone. That grace for the time 
to come — ^that gift of eternal life — which it appears to 
the objector to the atonement may so easily be believed 
in as the free bounty of God, may be so far conceived 
of by the awakened sinner, and may so commend itself 
to him, that he can say, "I delight in the law of God 
after the inward man;"— and yet, to believe that the 
good he apprehends is freely granted to him, is so 
far from an easy and natural act of faith in God's 
goodness, that the ideal which has dawned upon him, 
is felt to be the ideal of a hopeless good. He finds 
"a law in his members warring against the law of 
his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of 
sin that is in his members;" — so that he cries out, — ^'O 
wretched man that I am! who shall dehver me from 
the body of this death ?'^ 

Now, we know that where, in such cases, all general 
urging of God's mercy and clemency, and willingness 
to pardon and to save, fail to give peace, or quicken 
hope; the presenting of the atonement for the accept- 
ance of faith does both. Awakened sinners, (and I use 
the expression simply as to my own mind the most ac- 
curate, while also it is the echo of the word ^' Awake, 
thou that fileepest,") who are finding themselves unable 
to believe that God, — ^not because He is not merciftd 
and. gracious, but though merciftd and gracious, and 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 23 

however merciful and gracious He is, — can pardon their 
sins and bestow on them eternal life, are found able 
to believe in such pardon, and to receive the hope of 
eternal life, when these are presented to them in 
connexion with the sacrifice of Himself by which Christ 
put away sin, becoming the propitiation for the sins of 
the whole world. 

This fact is surely deserving of the serious consider- 
ation of those whose objection to the atonement is, 
that it should be enough for man's peace and hope to 
be told, that the Lord God is merciftil and gracious 
and ready to forgive, and to relieve all who call upon 
him. Here there is manifested an inabihty to believe 
in God's forgiveness as meeting man's need, when 
presented simply as clemency and mercy; — ^but, pre- 
sented in the form of the atonement, it is believed in. 
Not surely because less credit for love and mercy is 
given to God now; — for on the contrary the conception 
of love simply forgiving, and of love forgiving at such 
a cost to itself, differ just in this, that in the latter, the 
love is infinitely enhanced. 

An objector may reply that doubtless this is a 
remarkable mental phenomenon, and that he does not 
deny that what are called religious memoirs abound in 
illustrations of it; but that he cannot assume that 
those who have had this history were in the light, 
and that he himself is in the dark ; — and that, to his 
mind, to preach forgiv^iess, and the gift of eternal 
life, in connexion with an atonement, is only to increase 
the difficulty of faith ; — for that, while he sees in both 
these, contemplated simply in themselves, what he 
receives as worthy of the goodness of God, the addition 
of the doctrine of the atonement introduces other, and 
to him, mysterious elements into the question, com. 
plicating what should be a simple matter, and, in fact, 



24 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

representing the love of God as not at liberty freely to 
express itself^ but, having difficulties and hindrances to 
encounter, — ^the removal and overcoming of which 
involved such mysteries as the incarnation, and the self- 
sacrifice of the Son of God. 

It is even so: and this, doubtless, is the difficulty, 
— ^the great and ultimate difficulty; and let its amount 
be distinctly recognised. That God should do anything 
that is loving and gracious — ^which implies only an act 
of will — putting forth power guided by wisdom, this 
seems easy of faith. But, either that any object should 
appear desirable to God's love, which infinite power, 
guided by infinite wisdom, cannot accomplish by a 
simple act of the divine will, or that> if there be an 
object not to be thus attained, God will proceed to seek 
that object by a process which implies a great cost to 
God, and self-sacrifice, — either of these positions is 
difficult of faith. But the doctrine of the atonement 
involves them both: and this we must realise, and 
bear in mind, if we would deal wisely, nay justly, with 
objectors. 

Yet, doubtless, the elements, in the atonement which 
cause difficulty are the very elements which give it its 
power to be that peace and hope for man which the 
gospel contemplates, and which a simple intimation of 
the divine clemency and goodness could not quicken in 
him. It is that God is contemplated as manifesting 
clemency and goodness at a great cost, and not by a 
simple act of will that costs nothing, that gives the 
atonement its great power over the heart of man. For 
that is a deep, yea, the deepest spiritual instinct in 
man which affirms, that in proportion as any act mani- 
fests love it is to be believed as ascribed to God who is 
love. No manifestation of power meeting me can so 
assure me that I am meeting God as the manifestation 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 25 

<>{ love does. Therefore they greatly err who seek 
sxL external evidence of power, instead of an internal 
evidence of love, in considering the claim of anything 
to be received as jfrom God. 

Accordingly, a high argument in favour of Christi- 
anity, and which has awakened a deep response in 
many a heart, has been founded upon this very aspect 
of the doctrine of the atonement, viz. that it represents 
God as manifesting self-sacrificing love ; and so reveals 
the depth, not to say the reality, of love, as creation 
and providence could not do. And as a final cause for 
the permission of a condition of things, giving opportu- 
nity to the divine love to shew the self-sacrificing nature 
of love, and to bless with the blessedness of being the 
objects of such love, and, as the fruit of this, the blessed- 
ness of so loving— in this view— thiB argument is both 
true and deep. 

But the internal evidence which at the point at 
which we stand in our inquiry we need, must be some- 
thing different from this. The evil condition to which 
Bin had reduced man, the good of which nevertheless 
man still continued capable; these ideas in relation to 
man being conceived of as together present to the 
divine mind, it appeared to us that we could believe, 
that the desire would arise in the heart of the Father 
of the spirits of all flesh to bridge over this gulf if 
that could be: nay, it seemed impossible to believe 
that that desire should not arise. Now the gospel 
declares, that the love of God has, not only desired to 
bridge over this gulf, but has actually bridged it over, 
and the atonement is presented to us as that in which 
this is accomplished. What we seek is internal evidence 
— ^a response in our own spirits, as to the divine wisdom 
manifested in what is thus represented as the means 
by which divine love attains the object of its desire. 



26 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

But in this view it is not enough to say that this 
way is that in which the greatest proof of loYe is 
afforded. Love cannot be conceived of as doing any- 
thing gratuitously, merely to shew its own depth, 
for which thing there was no call in the circumstances 
of the case viewed in themselves. A man may 
love another so as to be willing to die for him; — 
but he will not actually lay down his life merely to shew 
his love, and without there being anything to render 
his doing so necessary in order to save the life for 
which he yields up his own. 

Therefore the question remains, "How was so costly 
an expression of love as the atonement necessary?"-— 
and how costly this expression of divine love has been 
to Grod we must fully recognise. For there is no 
doubt that a chief source of the di£Giculty which is 
felt in receiving the doctrine of the atonement is, that 
the atonement presupposes the incarnation. ^'God 
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we 
were yet sinners, Christ died for us." A man who is 
contented to die for another manifests his love at ihe 
greatest cost to himself. By such an illustration, 
therefore, the Apostle teaches that the love that is 
manifested in Christ's dying for us is manifested at 
a great cost to God. Of course this assumes that 
Christ is God. That God should sacrifice one creature 
for another, — subject one of His offspring to death that 
others of His ofl&pring might live, — would have nothing 
in it parallel to a man's laying down his own life for 
another. To say that Christ was not after all sacrificed 
in this transaction; — ^that what he endured was on his 
part voluntary, and endured in the contemplation of a 
reward, — ^for that, "for the joy set before him he en- 
dured the cross, despising tJie shame," is no answer; 
for that God takes credit to Himself for the love that 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 27 

Ghriist manifests in dying for yx^-this is the point of 
the Apostle's argument! As to the reward set before 
Christ, it is that firuit of His self-sacrifice which must be 
presupposed in order that the self-sacrifice should be a 
reasonable transaction. Self-sacrificing love does not 
sacrifice itself but for an end of gain to its objects- 
otherwise it would be folly. Does its esteeming as 
a reward that gain to those for whom it sufiers, de- 
stroy its claim to being self-sacrifice ? Nay, that which 
seals its character as self-sacrificing love is^ that this to 
it is a satisfying reward. ''He shall see of the travail 
of his soul, and be satisfied." 

In considering why our redemption has been at 
such a cost, and the whole subject of the nature 
of the atonement^ we shall be greatly helped by keep- 
ing distinctly before our minds, these two extreme 
points to which the atonement is related in that it 
refers to the one retrospectively, to the other pro- 
spectively, viz. the condition in which the grace of 
God finds us, and the condition to which it raises us. 

Christ has ^'redeemed us who were under the law, 
ihxnt we might receive the adoption of sons" — Christ 
"sufiered for us, the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to Grod." Both that we were "under the law" 
and "unjust" and that we were "to receive the adoption 
of sons" and to be "brought to God" may be expected 
to have aflfected the nature of the atonement as deter- 
mining what it must be adequate to : more especially the 
latter, as the great result contemplated. Accordingly, 
in the writings of the Apostles, we find the necessity 
for the atonement being what it was connected with 
both — but more especially with the latter. 

Yet in our systems of theology the former, and 
not the latter, has been chiefly the foundation of the 



28 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

arguments employed. Not that the latter has not also 
been taken into account, and provision made for it; but 
it has not been regarded as shedding light on the ncUure 
of the atonement* This is certain. For however our 
/' receiving the adoption of sons" and our being "brought 
to God" enter into the scheme ofsaLvaMon as represented 
in these systems, it is in the fact that we " were under 
the law" and "unjust" — ^that is to say, that we were 
sinners, under the condemnation of a broken law, that 
the necessity for the atonement has been recognised. 

The important consequences that have followed 
from this, as seems to me, departure from the example 
of the Apostles will appear as we proceed. But with 
the conclusions arrived at as to the necessity for an 
atonement, as arising from the fact, that we, whom the 
grace of God has visited, were sinners under the con- 
demnation of a broken law, I frilly accord. I believe 
that "by the deeds of the law could no flesh living be 
justified" — understanding by the law, not the Mosaic 
ritual, but that law of which the Apostle speaks when 
he says, " I delight in the law of God after the inward 
man" — that is to say, the law, "Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thine heart and mind and soul and 
strength, and thy neighbour as thyself." I believe that 
no modification of the law as a law, in accommodation 
to man's condition as a sinner, is conceivable that could 
either give the assurance of the pardon of sin, or 
quicken us with a new life ; and that all idea of bridg- 
ing over, by a modified law, the gulf which we have 
been contemplating is untenable. I believe that, if this 
was to be accomplished, it could only be by some moral 
and spiritual constitution quite other than the law: 
while, at the same time, such other constitution cannot 
be conceived of as introduced in any way that does not 
duly honour the law; or that delivers from ihe conse* 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 29 

quences of transgressing it, without vindicating the 
righteousness of the law, and the consistency of the 
law-giver. Finally, I believe that this requirement is 
recognised in the gospel, being fully naet in the 
atonement. 

But I must guard against seeming to give to the 
reasonings by which these conclusions have been arrived 
at, an unqualified assent. When it is argfued that the 
jukice or righteousness of God and his holiness,-and 
also his truth and faithfulness, presented difficulties in 
the way of our salvation, which rendered for their re- 
moval an atonement necessaiy, I fully absent to this;- 
and, when it is added, as I have seen it lately urged, 
that the goodness, the love of God as the moral ruler 
and governor of the universe, also demanded an atone- 
ment, that our salvation might be consistent with the 
well being of the moral universe, — I can freely concede 
this also : — nay, more, I would say, not the love of God 
having respect to the interests of the moral universe 
only, but the love of God having respect to the interests 
of the subjects of the salvation themselves. For indeed 
to me salvation otherwise than through the atonement 
is a contradiction. 

But while in reference to the not uncommon way of 
regarding this subject which represents righteousness 
and holiness as opposed to the sinner's salvation, and 
mercy and love as on his side, I freely concede that all 
the divine attributes were, in one view, against the 
sinner in that they called for the due expression of 
God's wrath against sin in the history of redemption; 
I believe, on the other hand, that the justice, the 
righteousness, the holiness of God have an aspect ac- 
cording to which they, as well as his mercy, appear 
as intercessors for man, and crave his salvation. Jus- 
tice may be contemplated as according to sin its due; 



30 THE ENDS CONTEMPLATED 

and there is in righteousness, as we are conscious to it, 
what testifies that sin should be miserable. But justice 
looking at the sinner, not simply as the fit subject of 
punishment, but m existing in a moral condition of 
unrighteousness, and so its own opposite, must desire 
that the sinner should cease to be in that condition; 
should cease to be unrighteous, — should become right- 
eous: righteousness in God cravmg for righteousness 
in man, with a craving which the reaUsation of right- 
eousness in man alone can satisfy. So also of holiness. 
In one view it repels the sinner, and would banish him 
to outer darkness, because of its repugnance to sin. In 
another it is pained by the continued existence of sin 
and unholiness, and must desire that the sinner should 
cease to be sinfiil. So that the sinner, conceived of as 
awakening to the consciousness of his own evil state, 
and saying to himself, ^'By sin I have destroyed 
myself Is there yet hope for me in God?" should 
hear an encouraging answer, not only firom the love 
and mercy of God, but also fi*om his very righteousness 
and holiness. We must not forget, in considering the 
response that is in conscience to the charge of sin and 
guilt, that, though the fears which accompany that re- 
sponse are partly the eflfect of a dawning of light, they 
also in part arise from remaining darkness. He who is 
able to interpret the voice of God within him truly, and 
with fiill spiritual intelligence, will be found saying, not 
only, "There is to me cause for fear in the righteousness 
and holiness of God" — but also, "There is room for 
hope for me in the divine righteousness and holiness." 
And when gathering consolation firom the meditation 
of the name of the Lord, that consolation will be not 
only, "Surely the divine mercy desires to see me 
happy rather than miserable" — but also, "Surely the 
divine righteousness desires to see me righteous — the 



IN THE ATONEMENT. 81 

divine holiness desires to see me holy — my continuing 
unrighteous and unholy is as grieving to God's right- 
eousness and holiness as my misery through sin is to 
His pity and love/' "Good and righteous is the Lord; 
therefore will He teach sinners the way which they 
should choose/' "A just God and a Saviour;" not as 
the harmony of a seeming opposition, but " a Saviour," 
because " a just God/' 

If this thought commends itself to my reader's mind 
as it does to mine, he will feel it to be important ; and 
he will see, in reference to the atonement, not that it 
tends to make an atonement appear less necessary, but 
that it may greatly affect the nature of the atonement 
required : for it implies that the prospective aspect of 
the atonement, — ^its reference to the life of sonship given 
to us in Christ, has been its most important aspect as 
respects the demands of righteousness and holiness, as 
it confessedly is as respects those of mercy and love. 
This is so — ^while, assuredly, it is also true that the re- 
trospective aspect of the atonement as connecting the 
pardon of sin with the vindicating of the honour of the 
divine law, is not less a meeting of a demand of divine 
love than of the demands of righteousness and holiness. 
How could it be otherwise, seeing that the law is love? 



CHAPTER II. 



TEACHING OP LUTHER. 



THE evil of the condition in respect of which we 
needed salvation, and the excellence of the salva- 
tion given to us in Christ ; and the reaUty and exceed- 
ing Neatness of the difficulties which st^d in the way 
of our salvation, and which the Saviour had to en- 
counter in accomphshing our redemption, have perhaps 
never been more vividly realised than by the great 
reformer Luther. And, though he does not afford 
much help to one seeking a clear intellectual appre- 
hension of the nature and essence of the atonement, 
or of that might by which Christ prevailed ; yet that 
his spiritual insight into these things has been great, 
is implied in the depth of his understanding of justifi- 
cation by faith, and of the relation in which peace in 
believing stands to that which our Lord asserted con- 
cerning himself when He said, *^ He that hath seen me 
hath seen the Father." I believe it will be of much 
advantage to us subsequently to occupy a little space 
here with the consideration of his teaching in rrelation 
to the atonement, and what it has accomplished. 

I have referred more than may meet the indulgence 
of some readers, though less than my own feeling of its 
value as a source of light would have inclined me to 
do, to the experience of deeply awakened sinners. The 
great reformer was such an one : and this part of his 
history has impressed a special character on his teach- 
ing more than anything else that went to make him 
what he was. To any who read his words, not as 
extravagance and fanaticism, but, — ^as I believe they 
are entitled to be read, — ^words of truth and soberness. 



TEACHING OF LUTHEE. 33 

his commendation of his great doctrine of ^^Justifica- 
tion by faith alone" from his own experience of its 
preciousness^ is deeply interesting, and, I may say, 
most affecting. For, when Luther speaks of the law 
and the Gospel, — of the righteousness of works, and of 
the righteousness of faith, it is not as a speculative 
theologian, reasoning out principles to their conclusions, 
and arranging the parts of a system in their due re- 
lations. — He speaks of the law as what wrought with 
his spirit until it had brought him to the brink of 
despair. He speaks of the gospel as what had spoken 
peace and life to him, and, by its revelation of Christ 
to his fiiith, had raised him as from hell to heaven. 
Seeking to be justified by works is to him no mere 
theological error, as to which he can conclusively 
reason. The very thought of it moves him to the 
depths of his being; renewing to him, with all its 
horrors, the past in which he had himself so sought 
justification, and stirring him to a vehement indigna- 
tion against those who direct men's steps into that 
path of death. On the other hand, the righteousness 
of faith seems to be to him that of which he cannot 
speak without the renewed sense of his first peace and 
joy in believing, and of the excellent glory of that ^'new 
world" into which "faith mounts up, where is no law, 
no sin, no remorse or sting of conscience, no death, but 
perfect joy, righteousness, grace, peace, life, salvation, 
glory." {p. 84.) The law and the gospel in their rela- 
tion to the human spirit, are to Luther as two spiritual 
regions which his spirit knows, having trembled and 
agonised in the one, and rejoiced and triumphed in the 
other; — ^but the former of which has no claim upon his 
presence in it, and ought to be to him as if it were not ; 
being, indeed, done away by Christ, and having no 
existence now but through unbelief ; while in the latter 

CAMPB. 3 



34 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

it is the will of God that he should dwell by faith ; to 
do which is to give God glory and be righteous in His 
sight. The vividness and picturing form of his speech 
is quite startling: yet is it in no sense figurative or 
rhetorical ; for he is manifestly keeping as close to the 
simple expression of his mental and spiritual percep- 
tions as he can. Keading his pleadings against the 
law, and for the gospel, it is impossible not to feel that 
he who gave such a fundamental place to justification 
by faith, was himself the preacher of it in an altogether 
distinctive and preeminent sense. 

I shall endeavour briefly to express the conception 
of Luther's mind on the subject of the atonement which 
I have received firom a careful study of his full com- 
mentary on the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the 
Galatians. 

This epistle has had a special interest to Luther, 
because he recognised Paul's controversy with the 
judaising teachers, by whom the Galatian converts to 
Christianity had been seduced, as substantially the 
same with that in which he himself was engaged with 
the church of Rome; and, as is common to him with 
the other Reformers, — his arguing on the subject of 
the atonement has a special character impressed upon 
it, by the relation to certain errors in the church of 
Rome in which he was contemplating it. Luther had 
not to contend with persons denying the doctrine of the 
atonement : what he had to contend against was human 
additions to the provision for peace of conscience and 
hope towards God, revealed in the gospel; and what 
we learn of his mind on the subject of the atonement is 
what he is led to utter in pleading for justification by 
faith alone. 

I have said that no man ever more realised than 
Luther did, that there were actual difficulties in the 



TEACHING OF LUTHER. 35 

nature of things to be dealt with in accomplishing 
our redemption, — diflficulties which a simple act of the 
Divine will could not do away with; but which have 
been successfully and triumphantly dealt with in the 
atonement for the sins of men, made by the Son of 
God. His deep feeling of the dishonour done to Christ 
by combining any other element with our vision of Him 
by faith, in our peace and confidence towards God, may 
have, in part, moved him to the use of the strong lan- 
guage which he employs, both in setting forth what 
Christ had to accomplish, and how He has accomplished 
it. But it is manifest that he could not speak of these 
subjects without feeling it diflBlcult to find language 
strong enough for his convictions. And the law, and 
sin, and death, and the devil who had the power of 
death, are set before us as awful realities against man ; 
and as to be encountered and overcome by Him who 
had undertaken to save man : and Christ's victory over 
them is seen in Luther's words, not as a simple act of 
divine, resistless, power, but as a moral and spiritual 
victory, — ^the triumph of good as good over evil as evil, 
of righteousness and life, over sin and death ; bringing 
with it aU secondary external results in its train. 

Not that on these diflBlcult and mysterious subjects, 
he does not, — ^as well as those who do not give the 
same impression of having approached them nearly, — 
leave us disposed to ask many questions. He, as well 
as others, speaks of our sins as laid upon Christ, without 
helping us to understand what this means ; — while he is 
distinguished fifom others by the anxiety he shews to 
select the strongest words to express the identification 
of Christ with our sins; refusing (p. 300) to understand 
"was made sin for us," in 2 Cor. v. 21, as meaning 
a sacrifice for sin, (while he admits that the word used 
will bear that meaning) choosing rather to insist that 

3—2 



36 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

He was made sin for us in some more absolute way of 
identifying Himself with us and our sin, in order that 
we, with whose sin He had so identified Himself, might 
be identified with Him in respect of His righteousness ; 
and that sin and righteousness meeting in Him, and 
righteousness triumphing over sin, we might partake 
in the triumph and all its fruits. — " Because in the self- 
same person which is the highest, the greatest and the 
only sinner, there is also an everlasting and invincible 
righteousness ; therefore these two do encoimter together 
the highest, the greatest and the only sin, and the high- 
est, the greatest and the only righteousness. Here one 
of them must needs be overcome and give place to the 
other . . . righteousness is everlasting, immortal, invinci- 
ble . . . therefore in this contest sin must needs be van- 
quished and killed, and righteousness must overcome 
and reign. So in Christ all sin is vanquished, killed 
and buried, and righteousness remaineth a conqueror and 
reigneth for ever.' (pp. 294, 295.) This conception of 
Christ as the one man, having present together in Him- 
self the sin of all other men, and His own righteousness, 
Luther endeavours in all possible forms of speech to pre- 
sent as an actual f act ^ and as what justifies, and imderlies 
such statements as that, '*the Lord laid on Him the ini- 
quity of us all," and that ^^ He bore our sins in His own 
body on the tree." And, whatever diflBlculties the matter 
may have presented to Luther's own mind, or what- 
ever difficulties his words may cause to us, attempting 
to attach to them a definite and consistent meaning, he 
leaves no room to doubt that what he sought to set 
forth he conceived of as a reahty, and not as a legal 
fiction. For he thus illustrates the identifying of 
Christ with men, — " For when a sinner cometh to the 
knowledge of himself indeed, he feeleth, not only that 
he is miserable, but misery itself; not only that he is a 



TEACHING OF LUTHER. 37 

sinner, and is accursed, but even sin and malediction 
itself. For it is a terrible thing to bear sin, the wrath 
of God, malediction and death. Wherefore that man 
which hath a true feding of these things, as Christ did 
truly and effectually fed them for all mankind, is made 
even sin, death, malediction." (p. 300.) But to think 
of Luther as really having any imworthy conceptions of 
Christ woidd be altogether erroneous. It was, doubt- 
less, because of his great realisation of the divine and 
perfect righteousness which were in Christ, and which 
in the deepest, and doubtless, he must have felt only 
absolute sense were ahne His, that he was able to use 
that which he thus calls an "apostolic liberty of speech" 
in setting forth the reality of His bearing our «ins. 

Such is Luther's teaching as to the retrospective 
aspect of the atonement. His teaching as to its pro- 
spective bearing, — the positive fruits of benefit to us 
through Christ's victory, the gift of eternal life itself, — 
is the following out of that root conception of Christ's 
identifying of Himself with us. In virtue of this iden- 
tification, the freedom and righteousness and life which 
are in Christ, being His own proper endowments, and of 
which His coming under our sins did not despoil Him, 
but which proved themselves mightier than all that 
power of darkness, — coming forth triumphant from the 
conflict, — ^these all are ours. As ours we are called to 
recognise them. As endowed with them we are called 
to conceive of ourselves. As the provisions of the 
salvation granted to us we are to use them. As the 
elements of our new divine life we are to live in them 
and by them. They are all ours as Christ is ours, — 
"He is made of God unto us wisdom and righteousness 
and sanctification and redemption." Christ our life is 
presented to our faith, that believing in Him we may 
live,-^yet not we, but Christ in us. Faith does not 



38 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

make these high endowments, the elements of the gift 
of Christ, ours: they are ours by the gift of God. 
Faith apprehends them, accepts them, — gives God 
glory in accepting them ; and thus faith saves by 
bringing us into Kving harmony with the divine con- 
stitution of things in Christ; — and, come into this 
harmony, God pronounces us righteous, — and, abiding 
in this faith, light, and life, and joy in God abound in 
us, and the end of God in Christ is being fulfilled in 
us; — partially now and here, — to be completely so 
hereafter. 

I do not feel that I can more pointedly express 
Luther's conception of faith than in saying, that it lifts 
us into Christ and makes us one with Him, both in our 
own consciousness, and in God's judgment of us; — as we 
were, before faith, one with Him in God's gracious 
desire ard purpose. 

Luther s conception of how God is justified in "jus- 
tifying the ungodly who believe," we may learn from 
what he says, first of Faith's own nature ; and then of 
the results of the living relation to Christ into which it 
brings us. 

First of Faith's own nature he says, ^' Paul by these 
words 'Abraham believed,' of faith in God maketh the 
chiefest sonship, the chiefest duty, the chiefest obedi- 
ence, and the chiefest sacrifice. Let him that is a 
rhetorician amplify this place, and he shall see that 
faith is an almighty thing; and that the power thereof 
is infinite and inestimable; for it giveth glory unto 
God, which is the highest service that can be given 
unto Him. Now to give glory unto God, is to believe 
in Him, to count Him true, wise, righteous, merciful, 
almighty ; briefly, to acknowledge Him to be the author 
and giver of all goodness. This reason doth not, but 
faith. That is it which maketh us divine people, and, 



.TEACHING OF LUTHBB. 39 

as a man would say, it is the Creator of (a) certain 
divinity, not in the substance of God, but in us. For 
without faith Godloseth in us His glory, wisdom, right- 
eousness, truth, and mercy. To conclude : no majesty 
or divinity remaineth unto God, where faith is not. 
And the chiefest thing that God requireth of man is, 
that he give unto Him His glory and His divinity; that 
is to say that he taketh Him not for an idol, but for 
God, who regardeth him, heareth him, sheweth mercy 
unto him and helpeth him. This being done, God 
hath His fiiU and perfect divinity, that is. He hath 
whatsoever a faithful heart can attribute unto Him. To 
be able therefore to give that glory unto God it is 
the wisdom of wisdoms, the righteousness of righteous- 
ness, the religion of rehgions, and sacrifice of sacrifices. 
Hereby we may perceive what an high and excellent 
righteousness faith is, and so, by the contrary, what an 
horrible and grievous sin infidelity is. Whosoever 
then believeth God, as Abraham did, is righteous 
before God, because he hath faith, which giveth glory 
unto God; that is, he giveth God that which is due 
to Him." (pp. 250, 251.) 

But, secondly, because this excellent condition of 
faith is in us but as a germ — a grain of mustard-seed 
—a feeble dawn, God, in imputing it as righteousness, 
has respect unto that of which it is the dawn — of which, 
as the beginning of the life of Christ in us, it is the 
promise, and in which it shall issue, even the noontide 
brightness of that day in which the righteous shall shine 
as the stars in the kingdom of their Father. So he 
adds in reference to the words "it was imputed to him 
for righteousness," — "For Christian righteousness con- 
sisteth in two things, that is to say, in faith in the 
heart, and in God's imputation. Faith is indeed a 
formal righteousness, and yet this righteousness is not 



40 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

enough; for after faith there remain yet certain rem- 
nants of sin in our flesh. This sacrifice of faith began 
in Abraham, but at last it was finished in death. 
Wherefore the other part of righteousness must needs 
be added aJso, to finish the same in us, that is to say 
God's imputation. For fiiith giveth not enough to 
God, being imperfect ; yea our faith is but a little spark 
of faith, which beginneth only to render unto God His 
true divinity. We have received the firstfruits of the 
Spirit, but not yet the tenths Wherefore faith begin- 
neth righteousness, but imputation maketh it perfect 
unto the day of Christ, (p. 2 5 2.) ... Wherefore let those 
which give themselves to the study of the Holy Scrip- 
ture, learn out of this saying, ^Abraham beheved God, 
and it was counted to him for righteousness,' to set forth 
truly and rightly this true Christian righteousness after 
this manner:— that it is a faith and confidence in the 
Son of God — or rather a confidence of the heart in God 
through Jesus Christ ; and let them add this clause as a 
diflference ; which faith and confidence is counted right- 
eousness for Christ's sake. . . . For as long as I Uve 
in the flesh sin is truly in me. But because I am 
covered under the shadow of Christ's wings, as is the 
chicken under the wings of the hen, and dweU without 
fear under that most ample and large heaven of the 
forgiveness of sins, which is spread over me, God 
covereth and pardoneth the remnant of sin in me ; that 
is to say, because of that faith wherewith I began to lay 
hold upon Christy He accepteth my imperfect righteousness 
even for perfect righteousnesSy and counteth my sin for 
no sin, which notwithstanding is sin indeed." (p. 254.) 
The essence of the difference between the law and 
the gospel, as conceived of by Luther, seems to be 
shortly this; — that the law reveals man himself to 
man, — that the gospel reveals God to man; — ^that the 



TEACHING OP LUTHER. 41 

law brings man to self-despair^ in order thai the gospel 
may teach him faith and hope in God. Therefore, in 
the gospel, and not in the law, is God to be seen and 
known. 

And this is substantially true. For, though the 
law, being love, may seem to reveal God who is love, 
yet is it rather a demand for love than a revelation 
of love; and, though it might have been, in the light 
of high mteUigence, and where there was no darkening 
of sin, concluded that love alone could demand love, 
yet does the mere demand never so speak to sinners ; — 
but "by the law is the knowledge of sin:'' wherefore 
''the law worketh wrath." But the firat front and 
aspect of the gospel is, the revelation of love; then 
follows the end contemplated, the quickening of love 
in us, (in fact the fulfilment of the righteousness of 
the law in us, — Rom. viii. 4,) but its instrument of 
working is, not the law, but grace. "Herein is love, 
not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent 
His Son to be the propitiation for our sins;" "We love 
Him because He first loved us." — "If God so loved us, 
we ought also to love one another." — i John iv. 11. 

Therefore, the gospel being the revelation of what 
God is, rather than of what He calls for, — ^though 
therein implying what He calls for, and providing for 
its accomplishment, — Luther, understanding this, rests, 
not in the scheme of redemption as a plan, or in the 
work of Christ as a work, the parts of which he is 
careful to analyse, that he may turn them to their 
several uses in his intercoTirse with God; but, in the 
scheme and the work, and shining through all the 
details of the work, he sees God appearing to him 
as He is in Himself, as He eternally is; and he yields 
his heart and his whole being to the attraction of the 
heavenly vision. Thus he learns that "God is tiie 



42 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

God of the humble, the miserable, the afflicted, the 
oppressed and the desperate, and of those that are 
brought even to nothing; and His nature is to exalt 
the humble, to feed the hungry, to give sight to the 
blind, to comfort the miserable, the afflicted, the 
bruised, the broken-hearted, to justify sinner, to 
quicken the dead, and to save the very desperate and 
damned. For he is an almighty Creator, and maketh all 
things of nothing." (p. 3 2 1 .) Not that the law had not 
spoken truly of God, not only when it declared the 
will of God as to what man should be, but also when 
its terrors were revealed in the conscience, through 
its testimony of God's wrath against sin ; — but it left 
untold, — it was not its ftmction to tell, — what deeper 
thing than wrath against sin was in God — even mercy 
towards the sinner. 

So Luther, as one whom '*the gospel hath led beyond 
and above the light of law and reason into the deep 
secrets of faith,'' (p. 168) and to a knowledge of God 
to which reason had not attained, conmienting upon the 
words — "Seeing the world by wisdom knew not God, 
in the wisdom of God, it pleased God by the foolish- 
ness of preaching to save them that believe," applies 
them as teaching "that men ought to abstain from the 
curious searching of God's majesty." (p. 100.) — For 
"true Christian divinity setteth not God forth unto 
us in His majesty, as Moses and other doctors do. It 
commandeth us not to search out the nature of God; 
but to know His will set out to us in Christ. (Ibid.) . . . 
Therefore begin thou there where Christ began, viz. 
in the womb of the virgin, in the manger, and at 
His mother's breasts, &c. For to this end He came 
down, was bom, was conversant among men, suffered, 
was crucified, and died, that by all means He might 
set forth Himself plainly before our eyes, and fasten 



TEACHING OF LUTHER. 43 

the eyes of our hearts upon Himself; that thereby He 
might keep us from climbing up into heaven, and 
from the curious searching of the divine majesty* 
Whensoever thou hast to do, therefore, in the matter 
of justification, and disputest with thyself how Gk)d 
is to be found that justifieth and accepteth sinners; 
where, and in what sort He is to be sought ; then know 
thou that there is no other God besides this man Christ 
Je9us, Embrace Him and cleave to Him with thy 
whole heart, setting aside all curious speculations of 
the divine majesty. For he that is a searcher of God's 
majesty shall be overwhelmed of His glory. I know 
by experience what I say. But these vain spirits, 
which so deal with God that they exclude the Mediator, 
do not believe me. Christ Himself hath said, ^I am the 
way, the truth, and the life ; no man cometh unto the 
Father but by me,' — John xiv. 6. Therefore, besides 
this way, Christ, thou shalt find no way to the Father, 
but wandering, no verity, but hypocrisy and lying, no 
life, but eternal death. Wherefore mark this well in 
the matter of justification, that when any of us wrestle 
with the law, sin, and death, and all other evils, we 
must look upon no other God but this God incarnate 
and clothed with man's nature. « « Look on this man 
Jesus Christ who setteth Himself forth to us to be a 
mediator, and saith 'Come unto me all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you,' — Matt, 
xi. 28. Thus doing, thou shalt perceive the love, good- 
ness and sweetness of God ; thou shalt see His wisdom, 
power, and majesty, sweetened and tempered to thy 
capacity. Yea thou shalt find in this mirror and 
pleasant contemplation all things according to that 
saying of Paul to the Colossians: 'In Christ are hid 
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' . . . The 
world is ignorant of this, and therefore it searcheth 



44 TEACHING OF LUTHER. 

out the will of God, setting aside the promise in Christ 
to his (its) great destruction, *For no man knoweth the 
Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal 
him/ — Matt. xi. 27.'' (p. loi.) 

*^ Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, 
and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I 
been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known 
me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Fa- 
ther."— John xiv. 8, 9. 

I add two more quotations to the same effect. " For 
in Christ we see that God is not a cruel exactor or a 
judge, but a most favourable, loving and merciful Father, 
who to the end He might bless us, that is to say, deliver 
us from the law, sin, death, and all other evils, and 
might endue us with grace, righteousness, and everlast- 
ing life, spared not His own Son, but gave Him for us alL 
This is a true knowledge of God and a divine persuasion 
which deceiveth us not, but painteth God unto us lively 
(living)." (p. 389.) '*For the true God speaketh thus; 
No righteousness, wisdom, nor religion pleaseth me but 
that only whereby the Father is glorified through the 
Son. Whosoever apprehendeth this Son, and me, 
and my promise in Him by faith, to him I am a 
God, to him I am a Father, him do I accept, justify 
and save. All others abide under wrath because they 
worship that thing which by nature is no God." (p. 390.) 

How does this language recall that of the Apostle 
John, — "And we know that the Son of God is come, 
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know 
Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, 
even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and 
eternal Ufe. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 
Amen." — i John v. 20, 21. 

One other point remains to be noticed that we 
may have distinctly before us Luther's teaching on the 



TEACHING OF LUTHXR. 46 

subject of the atonement, — I mean the weight which he 
lays on the personal appropriation of the atonement as 
of the very essence of faith. 

Of course, teaching as the result of the victory of 
Christ over all our spiritual enemies, that Christ was 
made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctification, and redemption, and setting forth this as 
a constitution of things established by God in His love 
to man, and revealed to be known and received by 
faith, he could not teach merely that men might appro- 
priate Christ and His work, — that they were at liberty 
so to do, and invited so to do, and that Christ was 
freely offered to them, and would become theirs by such 
appropriation. He must needs teach that such appro- 
priation was of the very essence of faith ; being implied 
in the most simple reception of that which was revealed. 
But he has a further reason for insisting on this, viz. 
that in this personal appropriation he recognised at once 
the power and the difficulty of &iith. 

The teaching I refer to is in his comment on the 
words, "who gave Himself for our sins,'' in which, after 
insisting on the power of these words to destroy all felse 
religions, "For if our sins be taken away by our own 
works, merits, and satisfactions, what needed the Son of 
God to be given for them ? But seeing He was given for 
them, it foUoweth that we cannot put them away by our 
own works," (p. 104) — -he adds — "But weigh diligently 
every word of Paul, and especially mark well this 
pronoun ^our;^ for the effect altogether consisteth in 
the well applying of the pronouns, which we find very 
often in the Scriptures, wherein also there is ever some 
vehemency and power. . . Generally and without the 
pronoun it is an easy matter to magnify and amplify 
the benefit of Christ, viz. that Christ was given for sins, 
but for other men's sins which are worthy. But when 



46 TEACHING OP LUTHER. 

it cometh to the putting to of this pronoun ouVy there 
.our weak nature and reason starteth back, and dare not 
come nigh unto God, nor promise to herself that so 
great a treasure shall be freely given unto her." (p. 105.) 

This is said in reference to the difficulty in believing 
in forgiveness noticed above as \vhat comes to be felt as 
soon as the need of forgiveness begins to be reaUsed. 
Of this Luther was fully aware, as well as of the 
unmeaning, and, indeed, self-righteous nature of those 
general confessions of sin which unawakened sinners so 
easily make ; combining with them as easily expressed 
a trust in Christ: — ^in reference to which he says — 
*^ Men's reason would fain bring and present unto God 
a feigned and counterfeit sinner, which is nothing afraid, 
nor hath any feeling of sin. It would bring that is 
whole, and not him that hath need of a physician, and 
when it feeleth no sin, then would it believe that Christ 
was given for our sins." ''But," says he, "learn here of 
Paul, to believe that Christ was given, not for feigned 
or counterfeit sins, nor yet for small sins, but for great 
and large sins ; not for one or two, but for all ; not for 
vanquished sins (for no man, no, nor angel, is able 
to subdue the least sin that is), but for invincible 
sins. And except thou be found among those that say 
'our sins,' that is which have this doctrine of faith, and 
both hear, love, and- believe the same, there is no salva- 
tion for thee (p. 106.) ... I speak not this without cause, 
for I know what movefch me to be so earnest that we 
should learn to define Christ out of the words of Paul. 
For indeed Christ is no cruel exactor, but a forever of 
the sins of the whole world. . . . Learn this definition 
diligently, and especially so to exercise this pronoun (niVy 
that this one syllable being believed may swallow up 
all thy sins." (p, 108.) 

I have reluctantly curtailed these quotations from 



TEACHING OP LUTHER. 47 

Luther's commentary on the apostle Paul's Epistle 
to the Galatians, — into the spirit of which the great 
Reformer has so truly entered. The deep insight into 
our redemption, as it has taken its character from our 
being "under the law" and *'unjust," which he mani- 
fests; — his vivid realisation of "the grace wherein we 
stand," being redeemed; — ^his true appreciation of the 
glory which God has in our faith ; — ^his discernment of 
the relation in which the peace and confidence towards 
God, which are present in faith, stand to the perfection 
of the revelation of the Father in the Son ; the personal 
interest in Christ, which he recognises as possessed by 
all men, and revealed to faith in the gospel; and the 
importance which he attaches to an appropriating 
response on our part : — these all are aspects of truth 
which I am thankful should now be present to the 
mind of my reader in Luther's strong and vivid form 
of speech. As to my immediate subject — the nature v' 
of the atonement — I have admitted that he does not 
offer much help towards a clear intellectual apprehendon 
of it. Christ's identifying of Himself with us, "joining 
Himself to the company of the accursed, taking unto 
Him their flesh and blood," in order that in humanity He 
might encounter "our sin," and "our death/' and "our 
curse" (p. 301); and the consequent conflict between 
these and Christ's own eternal righteousness, as meet- 
ing together in Him, — and the triumph of that divine 
righteousness, issuing in our redemption ;— these are 
conceptions which he may have been content to hold 
as matters of revealed fact, but still mysteries which 
precluded clear intellectual apprehension. Yet the 
earnestness with which he insists upon the presence 
together of these opposites in Christ, and on the reality 
of their conflict as matter of consciousness to Christ, — 
taien along with Ms true understanding of our parti- 



48 TEACHING OF LITTUEB. 

cipation in Christ and His righteousness, give, me 
the conviction that Luther was indeed contemplating 
spiritual realities which had a place in the work of 
redemption, when using language as to the nearness of 
the relation to us, and to our sin, into which Christ 
came, which has, and not without cause, given so much 
offence. In Luther's apprehension, Christ's bearing of 
our sins was not a mere imputation in the mind of 
another; it was a deep and painful reality in His own 
mind; and the victory of righteousness in Him was 
not such in respect of the award to righteousness by 
another, but a victory obtained by righteousness itself 
as a living divme might in Him. A legal fiction would 
be no explanation!^ The assumption of a delusive 
consciousness Luther would reject. What the truth 
of the case has been, (and which, as having taken 
place in humanity, may be expected to be utterable to 
men,) Luther's words, as he has written, do not make 
us to know ; whatever spiritual truth these words have 
had in his own mind:— for interpreted according to 
their plain grammatical meaning, the words by which he 
expresses Christ's relation to our sins cannot be true. 
His use of them is, therefore, not to be defended. Yet 
shall we suffer loss if we allow ourselves to suppose 
that as used by a man of so much spiritual insight as 
Luther they had not a meaning at once true and 
important. Indeed, if there be not a true sense in 
which Christ did bear on His spirit the weight of our 
sins, and all our evils, and did deal with the law of 
God as so bearing them, seeking redemption for us, — 
and did triumph in so doing by the niight of righteous- 
ness, Luther's marvellous teaching of justification by 
£uth alone is left a superstructure without a foundation. 



CHAPTER III. 

CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT 

EDWARDS. 

TF the great Reformer's teaching had obtained and 
-■- kept possession of the faith of the reformed Church, 
and that I could calculate on the presence in the minds 
of my readers of his preaching of Christ, I might now 
proceed to consider the nature of the atonement, without 
fiirther preface or preparation. But I need not say how 
far the fact is otherwise. And as I am anxious to carry 
along with me the minds of those who not only be- 
lieve in the atonement, but give it that very prominent 
place which it has in the teaching usually designated 
"evangelical," — though my appeal is not to what is 
specially distinctive of any, but is to the consciences of 
aU, — I shall now detain my readers for a little with 
the teaching on the subject of the atonement associated 
with the name of Calvin. 

Calvinism, as now Uving in our generation of men, 
presents to our attention two very distinctly marked 
forms: — the one, that which I believe those who hold 
it would recognise as best expounded by Dr. Owen and 
President Edwards ; to whom I may add Dr. Chalmers ; 
(whose recognition of Edwards as his theological teacher 
is known, and is abundantly manifest in his Institutes of 
Theology;) the other is that recent modification of Calvin- 
ism which is presented to us in the writings of Dr. Pye 
Smith, Dr. Payne, and Dr. Jenkyn, in England; and 
Dr. Wardlaw, in Scotland. I name these writers only 
—while I am aware that there are others, because my 
knowledge of the system is derived from them. 

OAMPB. 4 



/ 



60 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

Two centuries separate us from Dr. Owen, and 
one from President Edwards; but their theology, 
which is one, still lives in the present generation — of 
the Presbyterian section at least — of the Church in 
Scotland; and, I presume, has much hold on men's 
minds also in England and in America. No man 
can accord with these two men in their faith without 
rejoicing in them as bulwarks of that faith. Owen's 
clear intellect, and Edwards's no less unquestionable 
power of distinct and discriminating thought, combined 
with a calmer, and more weighty, and more solemn 
tone of spirit; — ^the former writing as a man whose life 
was much one of theological controversy, the latter 
more as Uving among religious awakenings of which 
he was at once a subject and the instrument; — justify 
our regarding them as having set forth the modifica- 
tion of the doctrine of the atonement which they teach 
to ihe greatest advantege of which it is capable ;-lwhile, 
wherein any may think it dark and repulsive, they hide 
nothing, gloss over nothing, soften nothing : for they 
were true men, and not ashamed of the Christ in whom 
they believed. 

Luther's anxiety to warn men "to abstain from the 
curious searching of God's majesty," has been noticed 
above. Not by such searching, but by becoming ac* 
quainted with Jesus Christ, would he teach us to expect 
the true knowledge of God : and this counsel is altogether 
in the spirit of the words, "In Him was life, and the life 
was the light of men." "He that hath seen me hath 
seen the Father." How sound Luther's judgment was 
in sending us to Jesus, that in Him we might see and 
embrace God manifested in the flesh; and how much 
was thus to be learned which systematic theology cannot 
teach, and yet which we must learn if our systematic 
thought is to be safe, may well be suggested to us 



BT DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 61 

by the history of the preparation for their high calling 
which the disciples received. Only after their Lord's 
resurrection were their minds opened to understand 
that "it behoved Christ to suflfer, and afterwards to 
enter into His glory." Yet were they, in that ignorance, 
already far advanced in the true knowledge of God, 
because in the true knowledge of Christ—not of His 
work, and of its bearing, but of Himself. Luther in 
telling us " to go straight to the manger, and embrace ^ 
the Virgin's little babe in our arms," expresses a sense 
of God's approachableness, as divested of all terrors and 
revealed in the simple confiding attraction of love, which 
we feel ftdl of instruction. We can conceive the long 
self-tortured monk, who had sought God earnestly but 
ignorantly, thinking, as he tells us, of Christ as an 
exactor and judge, as now, in the light of love, contem- 
plating the infiint Jesus, and saying to himself, "This is 
God, thus does God come among men;" — and, while 
the whole life in the flesh of which that is the dawn, 
passes before him in thought, and he traces the Lord's 
path from the manger to the cross, and then on to 
glory, we can conceive of him as repeating to himself — 
"This is my God, in this God am I to put my trust;" 
and we can understand how, while contrasting what he 
is thus consciously learning of "the true God and 
eternal life" with all the results of men's "curious 
searching of God's majesty," with which he was not 
unacquainted, he would treasure up his own conscious 
experience, — to minister it to others for warning and 
guidance. 

Now, what, in passing from the record of Luther's 
thoughts on the atonement to that of the thinking of 
Owen and Edwards, has come vividly home to my mind, 
is, that it would be well that they had proceeded more 
in harmony with the spirit of Luther's warning now 

4 — 2 



52 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

referred to. Not that I would presume to speak of 
their solemn weighing of the question ^' what is divine 
justice? and to what conclusions does it lead on the 
subject of the atonement?" as ^'curious searching;" but 
that it seems to me that it would have been well that 
they had used the life of Christ more as their light. 

That I say not this self-confidently, or on slight 
grounds, will, I trust, be made clear to my readers as 
we proceed. I do not make little account of phi- 
losophy, nor would I be contented to see it sharing 
in the Apostle's condemnation of "philosophy falsely 
so called." I beheve that a true philosophy has often 
done much service to religion; — neither can I under- 
stand how a philosophical mind can, without submitting 
to fetters which I believe are not of God, be contented 
to hold a religion which is not to it also a philosophy, 
and the highest philosophy. But no one will doubt 
that the beloved disciple John, who attained to such 
high apprehensions of God, and to whom we listen, 
telling us that "God is love," as to one speaking himself 
in the light of the eternal love, had his high — and the 
only adequate — training for this divine philosophy when 
following the footsteps of Jesus, listening to His words, 
seeing His deeds, and, from time to time, favoured to 
lean upon His breast. ^'That which was from the 
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen 
with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our 
hands have handled of the Word of life ; (For the life 
was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and 
shew unto you that eternal hfe which was with the 
Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we 
have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye 
also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fel- 
lowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus 
Christ." — I John i. i — 3 






BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 53, 

I am not going to analyse the reasoning on the 
Divine Attributes by Dr. Owen and President Edwards 
to which I refer, and as to which I feel as if the recorded 
work of Christ were contemplated in their system in 
the light of that reasoning, — rather than that reasoning 
engaged in after the due study of the life of Christ. 
It has been said that Calyinism is a philosophy in its v 
essence ; and I do not object to it on that account, but, 
because it is not to me a true philosophy. If what I 
have already said of the hope for sinful man that should 
be found in the righteousness and holiness of God, no 
less than in His love — contemplating these divine at- 
tributes, as much as may be, in their distinctness, — be 
present to the mind of my readers, it will be felt by 
those of them that are famihar with the theological 
writings of Owen and Edwards, that, however clear 
their reasonings are as reasonings, they must appear to 
me open to this fundamental objection, that they leave 
out of account certain important first principles. But 
not to engage in the analysis of what in the pages of 
Edwards especially I have read with so solemn and 
deep an interest as listening to a great and holy man, 
while, at the same time, feeling the axiomatic defect to 
which I have referred, it will be enough for my present 
purpose to notice the results arrived at. 

I. The most palpable of these results, and that 
which first attracts attention, is the limitation of the 
atonement; — I mean the conceiving of it as having 
reference only to a certain elected portion of the human 
family. 

His result arose naturally, and, it seems to me, 
most logically, from the first principles from which these 
clear and acute thinkers have reasoned. The divine 
justice is conceived of by them as, by a necessity of 
the divine nature, awarding eternal misery to sin, and 



54 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

dkemsl blessedness to righteousness. That the sinner 
may be saved from this misery, and partake in this 
blessedness, he must, in the person of Christ, endure 
the misery thus due to sin, and fulfil the righteous- 
ness of which this blessedness is the due reward. But 
the co-relative position is, that, having thus, in the 
person of Christ, endured the punishment of sin, he 
cannot in justice be eventually punished himself; and 
that, having, in like manner, fulfilled all righteousness, 
he must in justice receive the reward of that righteous- 
ness. ''The sum of all is, the death and blood-shedding 
of Jesus Christ hath wrought, and doth eflfectually 
procure for all those that are concerned in it, eternal re- 
demption, consisting in grax^e here and gloiy hereafter." 
(Vol. X. 1 59.) All that is of the nature of pain and suf- 
fering in the history of our Lord, from what ihe cries of 
feeble infancy tell, with what aggravation may have 
been in the circumstances of the manger and the stable, 
and the lowly lot of Mary and Joseph, on to the 
mysterious agony of Gethsemane, and that which seems 
to them indicated, if not revealed, in the cry on the 
cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" 
— all this is set down as penal suffering — the punishment 
of the sins of the elect. On the other hand, all tiiat is 
of the nature of holiness, goodness, obedience, fulfilling 
of all righteousness, from the same dawn to the solemn 
close, and the submission of will uttered in the words, 
^'the cup which my Father gives me to drink, shall I 
not drink it?" — ''Father, into thy hands I commend 
my spirit" — all this is set down as accomphshing that 
perfect righteousness which is to endow the elect with 
a title to eternal blessedness. 

The grace of God according to this conception, — 
that is his grace to the elect, is, — ^properly speaking, 
manifested in the original gift of Christ; all the sub- 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 66 

sequent history is the just and faithful acting out of the 
details of a covenant thus graciously entered into with 
Christ for the elect. But, of course, the original grace 
underlies all the subsequent history; so that, while, in 
one sense, the pardon of the sins of the elect is a matter 
of simple justice, Christ having borne the punishment 
of their sins; and the bestowal of eternal blessedness 
upon them is, also, a matter of simple justice, Christ's 
righteousness having endowed them with a right to 
that blessedness, — still the whole dispensation is one 
grace. 

Adhering strictly to his conception of the fixed 
relation between sin and its due punishment, Owen 
anxiously insists upon the identity of that punishment 
which Christ endured for the elect, with what they would 
have endured themselves, and what the non-elect do 
eventually endure. ''Now from aU this, thus much 
(to clear up the nature of the satisfaction made by 
Christ) appeareth, viz. — It was a fiill, valuable com- 
pensation made to the justice of God for all the sins of 
all those for whom He made satisfaction, by undergoing 
that same punishment which, by reason of the obliga- 
tion that was upon them, they themselves were bound 
to undergo. When I say the same, I mean essentially 
the same in weight and pressure, though not in all 
accidents of duration and the like ; for it was impossible 
that He should be detained by death." (p. 269.) His lan- 
guage everywhere is in harmony with this conception ; 
as to which I do not feel that it is justly liable to the 
treatment which it has received when objected to as a 
mercenary, and so an unworthy view of the subject. 
The mere language of commerce, viz. '^purchase, ran- 
som," &c. is not Owen's, but that of the Scriptures ; and 
as to the substance of his meaning it is simply, that the 



56 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

justice of God punishes sin as it deserves, and that, 
having in the exercise of an unerring judgment once 
determined what is deserved, God cannot be conceived 
of as acting in any way that would imply a change 
of mind. 

As to the dijfficulties that present themselves, the 
moment the attempt is made to form clear conceptions 
of what has thus been asserted, — that is to say, to 
conceive to ourselves, on the one hand, what the pun- 
ishment was which the elect were bound to undergo; 
and, then, on the other hand, how Christ can have 
endured the punishment so conceived of; — ^with these 
difficulties Owen does not really grapple. Edwards, 
indeed, approaches this solemn subject more nearly; 
and there is no passage in his exposition of "The Satis- 
faction for Sin" made by Christ of deeper interest than 
the one in which he does so. After premising that 
"Christ suffered the wrath of God for men's sins in 
such a way as He was capable of, being an infinitely 
holy person who knew that God was not angry with 
Him personally — ^knew that God did not hate Him, 
but infinitely loved Him," he goes on to specify two 
ways in which he conceives that Christ could endure 
the wrath of God. But the elements of suffering 
which he specifies, however connected with the sin 
of those for whom Christ died, cannot be recognised 
as the punishment which they themselves were bound 
to undergo, — if such sufferings can rightly be repre- 
sented as punishment at all. But, not to enter here 
on the nature of the sufferings specified, when expla- 
nations are offered as to how Christ endured the 
punishment of the sins of those for whom He died, 
the important point is, that His sufferings are regarded 
.as implying, that it would be unjust that those should 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 57 

themselves eventually suflfer punishment for whom He 
had suffered, as in the same way it was held, that 
it would be unjust that those should not eventually 
inherit eternal blessedness for whom Christ had merited 
eternal blessedness. 

We are not to wonder that, having come to such 
conclusions as these from such axioms as that "God 
is just" and that "God is immutable," texts of Scrip- 
ture such as those who believe that the atonement 
was for all men, quote in proof of that doctrine, were, 
however large their sound, urged with little effect. 
Some of these might seem diflScult of explanation on 
their system — others might be more easily disposed 
of. No one ever took more ingenuity to such a task 
than Owen did; as no one ever urged more perplex- 
ingly the dilemmas in which those were involved, 
who, agreeing with him as to the nature of the atone- 
ment, differed from him as to its reference. " To which 
I may add this dilemma to our universalists" (i.e. 
those who held that Christ had died for all), "God im- 
posed His wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the 
pains of hell for, either all the sins of all men, or all 
the sins of some men, or some sins of all men. If 
the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some 
sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved ; for if 
God enter into judgment with us, though it were with 
all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in 
His sight. 'If the Lord should mark iniquities who 
should stand?' ... If the second, that is it which 
we ajffirm, that Christ in their stead and room suf- 
fered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. 
If the first, why then are not all freed from the pun- 
ishment of all their sins? You will say 'Because of 
their unbelief; they will not believe.' But this unbelief, 
is it a sin, or not ? If not, why should they be punished 



68 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment 
due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder 
them more than their other sins for which He died 
from partaking of the fruit of His death? If He did 
not, then did He not die for all their sins. Let them 
choose which part they wiU." (p. 1 73-) I add his winding 
up of a striking argument on Mark x. 45 : *' I shall add 
no more but this, that to affirm Christ to die for all men 
is the readiest way to prove that He died for no man in 
the sense Christians have hitherto understood." (p. 290.) 
— As addressed to those who agreed with him as to the 
nature of the atonement, while differing with him as 
to the extent of its reference, this seems unanswerable. 

To those who approach the subject of the atonement 
with the conviction that Christ died for all men, and 
who see this to be clearly revealed in the Scriptures, it 
must be an insuperable objection to any view taken of 
the nature of the atonement that it is inconsistent with 
this faith ; and I have already alluded to the fact, that 
the force felt to be in such reasonings as those just 
quoted, assuming the truth of that conception of the 
atonement on which they proceed, has latterly led those 
who contend that Christ died for all to reconsider the 
nature of the atonement. I am thankful for this result. 
That cannot he the true conception of the nature of the 
atonement which implies that Christ died only for an 
election from among men. 

But, besides the scripture argument against the 
limitation of the atonement, on which I do not enter, I 
would notice two important further conclusions which 
that limitation involves, and which are very weighty 
objections to the doctrine to which they are ultimately 
traceable. 

I. The limitation of the atonement, and therefore 
the conception of the nature of the atonement which 



BY DR. OWEN AND PEBSIDENT EDWARDS. 59 

implies that limitaiioii, abstracts from the faith of tlie 
gospel that element on which Luther lays so much 
stress in what he says of the use of the pronoun "our." 
This it does because it takes away the warrant which 
the universality of the atonement gives to every man 
that hears the gospel to contemplate Christ with the 
personal appropriation of the words of the apostle, "who 
loved me, and gave himself for me." 

This Owen fully admits, but he denies that any 
man is asked to believe, as the first act of faith, that 
Christ died for him in particular, or to believe anything 
but what he recognises as actually revealed. He then 
proceeds to state successive acts or steps of faith; in 
each one of which the believer has a clear scripture 
warrant for his faith; but the taking each successive 
step of which narrows the circle of those who come to 
be dealt with ; some taking the first step who will not 
take the second; some taking both who will not take 
the third ; some taking the first three who will not take 
the fourth: — ^while, as to those who take the whole 
fouVy their having taken them has become a ground for 
that personal appropriation of Christ, as their own 
Saviour in particular, which was not afforded by the 
revelation made in the gospel message, but which ha« 
thus been added by that work of grace which has prO' 
ceeded so far in them, and has individuahsed them as 
persons for whom Christ died; "for certainly Christ 
died for every one in whose heart the Lord by His 
almighty power works effectually faith to lay hold on 
Him, and assent unto Him according to that orderly 
proposal that is held forth in the gospel." (p. 315.) 

But the difficulty of dealing with awakened sinners 
on this system has been practically felt to be very 
great. And the importance, with reference to all fruit 
of that faith whose nature it is to work by love, of 



60 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

being able to realise that relation to Christ which the 
words '*who loved me, and gave himself for me," ex- 
press, has pressed so upon such men as Boston and 
others, in the days of our fathers, that, in order to 
facilitate that "appropriating act of faith" on which so 
much depended, they introduced that doctrine of ''a 
deed of gift of Christ to all men," which they combined 
with the faith, still adhered to, that He died only for 
the elect : — shewing what a response Luther's teaching 
as to the use of the pronoun ^^our^' has had, even when 
that broad basis of an atonement for all on which 
Luther stood has not been seen to be the truth of 
God. 

Another indication of the same^ response is pre- 
sented in Dr. Chalmers's Institutes, in the chapter on 
"the universality of the gospel." I refer to the tone of 
the whole chapter, but quote only these words: — "The 
particular redemption of all who are saved, is made good 
by their right entertainment of those texts which are 
alleged in behalf of universal redemption ; and it is the 
very entertainment which the advocates of this doctrine 
would have aU men to bestow upon them. And so I am 
sure would we. We should like each individual of the 
world's population to assume specially for himself every 
passage in the Bible where Christ is held forth generally 
to men or generally to sinners, and would assure him 
that, did he only proceed upon these, he would infallibly 
be saved." I am not sure to what the concession that 
seems to be made in the words which I have marked 
by italics really amounts, and am fearful of even seeming 
to strain his words. I know indeed that "that entertain- 
ment which the advocates of universal redemption would 
have all men to bestow" upon "the texts which they 
allege in behalf of that doctrine" includes this, that each 
man should assume, on the authority of these texts. 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 61 

that Christ died for him,— that Christ is made of God 
unto him, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifica- 
tion, and redemption. How far Dr. Chalmers means 
that any man assuming this, and trusting Christ accord- 
ingly, is justified in so doing, and is saved by so doing, 
I am not quite certain, considering that he insists so 
much on the word "offer;" but this much is, I think, 
abundantly clear, that he recognises the importance of 
the appropriating act of faith, whUe adhering to the 
doctrine of a limited atonement. 

But thus to use the expressions of Scripture in a 
•vague largeness in connexion with the faith of an 
atonement for the elect only, affords no real basis for 
that personal appropriation of Christ which is recog^ 
nised as so needful to the practical working of Christi- 
anity. And those who see clearly that the Apostle 
could not have said, "I am crucified with Christ; 
nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ hveth in me," 
imless he had first known that Christ "had loved him, 
and given Himself for him," must see that such previous 
knowledge in the Apostle implied that the gospel in 
which he had believed had imparted that knowledge. 
However much Owen's four steps of faith without this 
personal appropriation, followed by a fifth, in which^ 
through the help of these previous four, that appropria- 
tion is attained, must repel us as a departure from the 
simplicity of faith, his teaching is consistent with the 
doctrine of a limited atonement ; but how, without the 
element of an indication in the inner man of the indi- 
vidual that he is of the elect, the certainty of a personal 
interest in Christ can be reached by one believing that 
Christ died for the elect only, I cannot conceive. 

2. But a more solemn result of limiting the atone-' 
ment remains to be noticed, viz. that, as appears to 
me, it makes the work of Christ to be no longer a 



62 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

revelation of the name of God, no longer a work 
revealing that God is love. 

The conception of the nature of the atonement on 
which the system of Owen and Edwards proceeds, and 
the reasonings in relation to the Divine Attributes by 
which they attempt to lay a deep foundation for it in 
the verity of what God is, present this, — I may surely 
say — startling — result, that, while they set forth justice 
as a necessary attribute of the divine nature, so that 
God must deal with oM men according to its require- 
ments, they represent mercy and love as not necessary, 
but arbitrary, and what, therefore, may find their 
expression in the history of only some men. For ac- 
cording to their system justice alone is expressed in the 
history of all men, that is to say, in the history of the 
non-elect, in their endurance of punishment; in the 
history of the elect, in Christ's enduring it for them. 
Mercy and love are expressed in the history of the elect 
alone. Surely, not to enter into the question of the 
absolute distinctness of the Divine Attributes, or their 
central and essential unity, if any one attribute might 
be expected to shine full orbed in a revelation which 
testifies that "God is love," that attribute is love; 
and, feeling this strongly, I have ventured to say, that 
it would be well that these deep reasoners had " used 
the life of Christ more as their light." 

But, not only do I object that in this system the 
illustration of the divine love by the atonement is 
presented in the history of the election alone ; what I 
feel is, that 30 presented the atonement ceases to reveal 
that God is love. 

However little the thought may have received the 
consideration which its importance deserves, nothing can 
be clearer to me than that an arbitrary act cannot re- 
veal eha/racter. We may be reconciled to an act of which 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 68 

we see not the reasons^ by what we know otherwise of 
the character of him whose act it is : but an act which 
is strictly arbitrary^ or^ at leasts so far as we are 
informed arbitrary, — an act of which he that performs 
it gives us no other account than that he wills it 
because he wills it, — can never, by any light in it^ make 
the character of him whose act it is known to us. Now 
the doctrine that the work of Christ has had reference 
only to the elect, and that the grace which it embodies 
was only grace to them, and that they were elected, and 
the non-elect passed over arbitrarily, or at the least on 
no principle of choice that can be made known to us, ot 
at all events, that is made known to us, — this doctrine 
makes the work of Christ as presented to the feith of 
human beings strictly an arbitrary act. To say that 
God does not authorise us to expect an explanation of 
the reasons of His acting — ^that He gives not account 
of His matters, — is not to the point. Be it so. But if it 
be $0, it does not the less follow, that what He has 
done has left us ignorant of Himself — that so far as the 
acting of which He gives us no account is concerned, He 
is to us the unknown God. 

That the transaction has such an aspect of grace to 
those to whom it has reference, — ^that to the elect it is 
free unmerited kindness, — yea kindness to enemies, — ^ 
this is not to the purpose, our inquiry being as to the 
name and character of God. For, if we allow our minds 
due freedom in the contemplation of this high and solemn 
subject, it is impossible for us not to feel, that however 
great the personal obligations conferred upon the elect, 
and however the sense of these may attach them to 
God, even they cannot intelligently venture to say that 
their experience of God — the way in which God has 
dealt with them, proves what God is — ^in Himself is, 
— essentially is^ — when the way in which He has dealt 



64 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

with others — ^the experience of others related to Him 
exactly as they were, and whose position was, by 
assumption of the system itsdfy in every point identi- 
cally the same as theirs, — has been so different. That 
other treatment is assumed to be God's acting as much 
as this. By which are we to judge of Him ? From 
which are we to conclude what God is? I am unable 
to see any way out here, or any escape from the con- 
clusion, that the doctrine of an atonement for the elect 
only, destroys the claim of the work of Christ to be 
that which fully reveals and illustrates that great 
foundation of all reUgion, that God is love. I may 
still cling to that spiritual instinct in me which re- 
sponds to the assertion that God is love, apart from 
all revealed justification of that assertion. But, instead 
of being helped by God's gift of Christ to the elect to 
cherish this instinctive faith, all deep consideration of 
that gift can only embarrass me; so that, if I believe 
in it, I must be contented to receive it as a mystery,— 
not a revelation of God ; — a mystery, the explanation of 
which' I must endeavour, in the strength of my instinc- 
tive faith that God is love, patiently to wait for. 

I know that when the doctrine of free grace as 
meaning absolute unconditional election, is presented to 
those who have not yet come under the power of God's 
love, it is usual to treat the repulsion they feel as a 
manifestation of carnal pride, and their objections as 
the suggestions of a self-sufficient reason, which reftises 
to submit itself to the authority of revelation. But is 
it feiir to ask men to put their trust in that God of 
whom we cannot tell them whether He loves them or 
does not? in that Saviour of whom we cannot tell 
them whether He died for them or did not? And 
when they find their difficulties so treated by those who 
not only are, as it will naturally appear to them, recon^ 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 65 

ciled to an unconditional election by having come to 
believe that that election has included themselves^ but 
who have this strong inducement to hmit the atonement, 
that they believe that to assert that Christ died for all 
men, is, in effect, to assert that He died for no man in 
the sense in which His death for themselves is their 
hope towards God, — is it strange that some degree of 
irritation, and even indignation, should be manifested ? 
May not the appearance of such a special interest in 
hmiting the atonement excusably recall the words — " A 
bribe blinds the eyes of a judge"? 

What practically goes far to neutralise all this, and 
to disarm the feeling of irritation which it awakens, 
even appearing an argument in reply, is, the loving 
spirit often manifested by those who urge such views as 
these, — a spirit the very opposite of what we should 
expect in the holders of a system which veils the love 
that is in God to every man. 

The fact that much of this seeming contradiction 
meets us is certain. How does it arise ? Although, as 1 
have said, their personal experience of God cannot 
warrant those, who, living in the faith of God's love in 
Christ as love to themselves, cherish that faith in con- 
nexion with the faith of an arbitrary election and 
limited atonement, in concluding as to what God is — 
that He is love; yet they may so conclude, — ^they may 
think of God exclusively as He appears in His acting 
towards themselves; leaving out of view the different 
history of others : or, if they think of it, regarding it 
rather as a mystery, with which they may not meddle, 
and which, with their convictions, they would feel it 
irreverent to trace out to logical conclusions. Thus 
they will be found extolling the love which is the 
plain meaning of what they are experiencing at the 
hand of God, viewed simply in itself ; and, feeling it as 

CAMPB. 5 



66 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

love, they will respond to it with love, and living in an 
atmosphere of love, their spiritual state will have its 
character determined accordingly. And so dealing 
with God as a living God, and receiving from Him day 
by day forgiving love, — alive to God, and drawing 
daily for their own need out of the fiilness that is in 
Christ, it comes to pass, that the living love quickened 
in their hearts is, if I may so speak, glad to find in the 
darkness that veils the subject of election an excuse for 
going forth freely to men, even while it is not doc- 
trinally held that God's love itself, the fountain love, 
goes thus freely forth. And thus a contradiction is 
allowed to exist between the faith of the head and the 
love of the heart; and, in spite of their theology, the 
men "who love God much because much is forgiven 
them" love men much also, and are thankful to devote 
themselves, under the power of that love, to bringing 
others into the fellowship of that love. In aU this 
conscience, testifying that love is the fulfilling of the 
law, helps them greatly; and also the bearing and 
general impression of the Scriptures, which even the 
mismiderstanding of many important texts does not 
neutraUse: and thus a Brainerd, holding as his creed 
that Christ died only for an unknown few, is seen 
yearning over every human being he meets, desiring 
that individual human being's salvation with an in- 
tenseness of love that we feel would be content to die 
for him that he should Uve : for no man ever laboured 
for the salvation of others, the record of whose labours 
impresses us more deeply with this conviction. 

In Brainerd's case, indeed, as also in the case of his 
master Edwards, this contradiction between the faith of 
the head and the love of the heart, is the more remark- 
able, in that, that faith was not taken up bHndly, or 
without much reasoning and weighing of all that it 



BY DR. OWBN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 67 

involved. How marvellous it appears that such rea- 
Boners did not give to their understandings the help 
that they might have found in their own spiritual 
consciousness, and make, so to speak, an axiom of the 
love to man that was in their own hearts, and reason 
from it, as a simple uneducated man did, who, when 
the doctrine of the universality of the atonement was 
first introduced to the attention of a prayer and fellow- 
ship meeting of which he was a member, when others 
were arguing against it, said, " I cannot refuse it, for I 
feel that when I have most of the spirit of Christ in me 
I feel most love to all men ; and I cannot believe that 
the spirit of Christ would move me to love all men if 
Christ did not love all men Himself" 

II. The limitation of the reference of the atone- 
ment to an election from among men, and the conse- 
quences involved in that limitation, must be regarded 
as bringing into question that conception of the nature 
of the atonement, which, being consistently followed 
out, has such results. Another result of that concep- 
tion of the nature of the atonement, not less conclusive 
as an argument against it, is the substitution of a legal 
standing for a filial standing as the gift of God to men 
in Christ. 

" When the fulness of the time was come, God 
sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the 
law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we 
might receive the adoption of sons'^ Gal. iv. 4, 5. 
Therefore, when we contemplate the Son of God, in 
our nature, dealing on our behalf with the condemna- 
tion of sin, and the demand for righteousness, which 
are in the law, we are to understand that He is not thus 
honouring in humanity the law of God for the purpose 
of giving us a perfect legal standing a^ under the law, 
but for the purpose of taking us from under the law, 

5 — 2 



68 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

and placing us under grace, — ^redeeming us that we may 
receive the adoption of sons. So that not a legal 
standing, however high or perfect, but a filial standing, 
is that which is given to us in Christ. But the pur- 
pose of giving a title to a legal confidence, and that 
of quickening with a, Jilial confidence, are manifestly 
difierent ; and, the latter being recognised as that in 
the contemplation of which the Father sent the Son to 
be the Saviour of the world, we must conclude that 
that conception of the nature of the atonement which 
has led to the substitution of the former in men's 
thoughts, cannot be the true conception. 

President Edwards represents the righteousness of 
Christ as a perfect obedience, — ^yet not perfected until 
rendered as obedience unto death ; and he enters into 
a full detail of all the forms or aspects of law under 
which Christ came, and the demand of which He fully 
met ; and God's acceptance of this perfect obedience he 
calls, the Father's justification of Christ; and this he 

says was in the Father's raising Him from tiie dea^ ; 
and in this justification is it that the elect are in- 
terested, and into the communion of which they enter 
by faith ; and this perfect obedience it is that is im- 
puted to them, and to the reward of which they are 
entitled. In all this attention is fixed upon the obedi- 
ence of Christ as the fulJiUing of a law, and the life of 
sonship in which this fulfilment has taken place, is left 
out of view. But that life of sonship is, in reality, what 
ought to be prominent ; and the proper value of that 
fulfilment of the law, besides the honour which it accords 
to the law, is, that it is a demonstration of the virtue 
and power which is in sonship. For the prospective 
relation of men to that fiilfilment, is, not that they are 
to receive eternal blessedness as the reward due to it, 
but that God's acceptance of it as a perfect righteous- 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 69 

ness in humanity is a justification of humanity in the 
person of Christ, on the ground of which that life of 
sonship, in which this glory has been given to God in 
humanity, may be given to men in the Son of God. 

A work of infinite excellence performed by Christ 
as the representative of men, and men invested with its 
excellence, and clothed with its worthiness in God's 
eyes, and rewarded accordingly, is a thought that has 
had much acceptance. Surely to bestow on us in 
Christ the Hfe that has taken outward form in that 
work, is at once a more natural, and a far higher result 
of that work ; — a far higher reward to Christ, and a far 
higher gift to us : as it is also a higher glory to God 
in us, and so a higher glory to God in Christ, through 
whom there is that glory to God in us. '* For what 
the law could not do, in that it was weak through the 
flesh, God sending His Son in the likeness of sinful 
flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, condemned sin in the 
flesh : that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled 
in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit," 
— ^that is, the spirit of the Son, for the root idea here is 
that conveyed by the word " Son." '* For the law of 
the spirit of the life that is in Christ Jesus ;" viz. son- 
ship — ^makes us " free from the law of sin and death." 

Dr. Chalmers dwells much on the legal standing 
given in Christ, as meeting, by its retrospective and 
prospective bearing, all the need of the awakened 
sinner ; and, in connexion with this, has some very 
striking remarks on what he calls ^' natural legalism," 
as a source of difficulty to men in receiving the Gospel, 
in addition to natural pride, and one which he thinks 
ministers of the Gospel have not sufficiently considered, 
or recognised, in deaUng with the consciences of men. 
These remarks are, I beUeve, just. I believe that dif- 
ficulties have often their root in conscience, which are 



70 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

ignorantly and rashly referred to pride ; and I also 
believe that Dr. Chalmers is historically justified in 
saying, that such a standing as he conceives we are 
called to take, in virtue of the imputation of our 
sins to Christ, and of His righteousness to us, will 
meet the demands of conscience to a certain extent 
awakened; yet of conscience but to a certain extent 
awakened only; not of conscience JvUy awakened. 
This is true, inasmuch as conscience fiilly awakened 
may be expected to demand, in relation to the righte* 
ousness of the law, that which God has contemplated; 
which we have just seen has been ^Hhat the righte- 
ousness of the law might be fulfilled in us :" — ^but I 
say this rather in reference to that other aspect of the 
fulfilment of God's purpose; viz. '^that we should 
receive the adoption of sons;" — in relation to which 
I beheve there is such a response in conscience that 
one is justified in saying, that conscience is not fully 
awakened in us who are God's ofispring, until the 
orphan condition to which sin has reduced us is re* 
vealed in us, and the cry arises in spirit, if not in 
form of words, " Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth 
us.'' 

In the chapter of Dr. Chalmers's Institutes, to which 
I am now referring, that " on the satisfaction that had 
to be rendered to the truth and justice of God, ere that 
sinners could be readmitted into favour," there is much 
important elucidation of the fact, that it is not as a 
Father, but as a Judge, that God is thought of by 
awakened sinners ; — firom which he justly argues, that 
there is both a departure from the truth of things, and 
an embarrassing result to the awakened sinner in not 
duly acknowledging that voice of conscience which 
causes so much terror, and in, as he says, " keeping the 
divine jurisprudence out of sight," and "contemplat- 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 71 

ing the relation between God and man simply as a 
family relation." Those who do so, he designates as 
^^the advocates of a meagre and sentimental piety." 
When any thus sink the Lawgiver in the Father, they 
surely err. But, on the other hand, if any think the 
idea of the Lawgiver the higher and more root idea, 
they also err. Let us take the warning given, not '* to 
keep the divine jurisprudence out of sight ;" but let us 
guard also against awakenings which do not reach to 
the depths of man's being ; neither prepare for that 
Gospel which comes from the depths of the heart of the 
Father. It must ever be remembered, that, while the 
Gospel recognises the law, and honours the law, it 
raises us above the law ; while, as to the very point of 
these two characters of God, viz. the Lawgiver and the 
Father, we know that it is only by the revelaiion of the 
Father that God succeeds in realising the will of the 
Lawgiver in men. How much more can He thus alone 
realise the longings of the Father's heart ! 

And let us weigh well this question, " How much 
more could God thus alone realise in us the longings of 
His heart as our Father?" for that the atonement really 
contemplated the reaHsing of these longings, and should 
be seen by us in its relation to these longings, this is 
what is not understood when the legal perfection of 
Christ's righteousness is thus abstracted from the law 
of the spirit of the life of sonship in Christ Jesus, which 
took outward form in that righteousness, and from the 
revelation of the Father, which, in being perfect son- 
ship, it presents to faith. If that obedience were not, 
in its inner aspect, and in its nature, sonship, — ^if it 
were not a revelation of the Father, its legal perfection, 
had such perfection been in that case possible, would 
have availed little to us, who were to be redeemed from 
under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons. 



72 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT 

Therefore was our Lord ever carefiil to keep before 
the minds of the disciples, that, in that perfect obedi- 
ence to the will of God which they saw in Him, they 
were contemplating the doing of the will of the Father 
by the Son. For in His Father's name was He come to 
them. Had it been otherwise, Christ could not have 
said, " He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." 
A servant may make us acquainted with his master ; a 
subject may make us to know the lawgiver and king to 
whom he owes allegiance ; the Son alone could reveal 
the Father. *'No man knoweth the Father save the 
Son, and he to whom the Son revealeth Him." 

I have urged above, that the limitation of the atone- 
ment, renders the grace of God in the gift of Christ no 
longer a revelation of the name of God, — ^that He is 
love. I say now, that the righteousness of Christ being 
contemplated as what was intended to give us a legal 
standing as righteous through its imputation to us, has, 
if not as a necessary consequence, at all events as a 
matter of fact, marred the efl&ciency of the work of 
Christ as in itself a, revelation of the Father by the Son. 
I mean, that those who, in looking at Christ as ftilfilling 
all righteousness, have contemplated Him as employed 
in providing a legal righteousness for us, have not been 
in the way of receiving that knowledge of God which 
they would have received, if their contemplation of 
Christ had been determined by the faith of that word, 
" He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Thus 
it has come to pass, that our Lord has been contem- 
plated by them as fulfilling the law of love towards all 
men, and yet that they have not recognised His doing 
so as the revelation of God's love to all men. Edwards, 
in his enumeration of the elements of Christ's righteous- 
ness, mentions those virtues which more immediately 
respect other men, and these under the two heads of 



BY DR. OWEN AND PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 73 

meekness and love ; and, in illustration of the love to 
men which he manifested, he says, "Christ's love to 
men that He shewed when upon earth, and especially 
in going through His last sufferings, and offering up His 
life and soul under these sufferings, which was His 
greatest act of love, was far beyond all parallel." This, 
as a part of Christ's righteousness, is clearly here love 
to men as men ; not love to the elect as the elect. 
The specifying, as illustrating His love to men, those 
sufferings of Christ, and that offering up of His life and 
soul, which the system assumes had reference to the 
elect only, is indeed a manifest contradiction; but it 
seems to have arisen from his looking at the righteous- 
ness of Christ as the meeting of the demand for 
righteousness which the law makes on man, and not 
as the revelation of the heart of the Father by the 
Son. For Edwards did not doubt that the righteous- 
ness which Christ fulfilled, and with which, by imputa- 
tion, believers are clothed, included love to all men ; 
— any more than that the example w^hich He left for 
the guidance of His followers, was that of love to all 
men. But the legal reference to man in which alone 
the atonement has been viewed, has caused that neither 
Christ's sufferings for our sins, nor His own righteous- 
ness, reveal anything of God by what they are in 
themselves beyond what the law testifies ; — being, 
simply, the meeting of the demands of the law ; the 
former an awful, the latter a glorious seal put to the 
law by the Son of God, and no more. 

Justification by faith is so closely related to that 
work of Christ which the faith that justifies apprehends, 
that an error in regard to the nature of the atonement 
must affect that doctrine. But there will be some 
advantage in postponing the consideration of the 
teaching of the earher Calvinists on this subject, so 



74 CALVINISM, AS TAUGHT, &C. 

far as the object of this volume calls for the considera- 
tion of it, until I have first directed attention to the 
great modification which Calvinism, as taught by the 
theological school to which I have referred above, 
has recently undergone. 



1 



CHAPTER IV. 

CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

CALVINISM, as recently modified, differs from the 
earlier Calvinism in these points : — First, as to the 
reference of the atonement, which is held to have been 
for all men, and not for the elect only. Secondly, as 
to the need be for an atonement, which is not regarded 
as arising out of the demands of distributive and indi- 
vidual justice, requiring that each man should receive 
his due desert, according to an eternal necessity in the 
divine nature, as maintained by Owen and Edwards; but 
is held to arise out of the demands of rectoral and public 
justice, which necessitate God, as the moral governor 
of the universe, if He extend mercy to sinners, to do so 
only in a way that will preserve inviolate the interests of 
His moral government. Thirdly, as to the nature of the 
atonement, — Christ's sufferings for our sins not being 
held to be the endurance, on the part of the Saviour, of 
the same punishment, or of punishment equivalent in 
amount of suffering, with that to which those for whom 
He suffered were exposed, but to be the substitution of 
other sufferings for the threatened punishment, which 
substituted sufferings were equivalent in reference 
to the result in relation to God's moral government; — 
and Christ's meritorious obedience not being held to be 
the fulfilling of the law in our room and stead, so as to 
provide us with a righteousness to be imputed to us, 
investing us with a right to the reward of righteous- 
ness, — but a moral excellence giving a moral virtue to 
the atonement whereby it is made a fit ground on 
which may be rested all acts of grace and clemency 
towards sinners, and all bestowal of favours upon them. 



76 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

Fourthly, as to the results of the atonement, that it 
does not of itself, and by its own nature, secure salva- 
tion to any, but only is an adequate provision for 
the salvation of all, free to all, effectual to salvation in 
the case of those who are disposed by the sovereign 
grace of God to avail themselves of it. 

These points of difference involve others as implied 
in them. Thus the idea of imputation of guilt and right- 
eousness, viz. of our guilt to Christ, and of Christ's 
righteousness to us, as this imputation was held by 
Owen and Edwards, is rejected as untenable ; — " Guilt 
and merit not being transferable, — but only their con- 
sequences." (Payne, 254.) The idea of a legal claim 
to salvation, which we have just seen commended as 
the ftdl meaning of the instinctive legaUsm of the 
human heart, is rejected as destroying the gracious 
character of the gospel dispensation; — and, most im- 
portant of all — ^the relation of the atonement to the 
divinity of Christ, is altogether differently conceived of; 
for whereas, in the earlier Calvinism the divinity of the 
Saviour is contemplated as making possible infinitely 
great sufferings endured in time, — the needed substi- 
tute for sufferings that would have been infinite in that 
they would have been eternal, — on this system the 
divinity of Christ is regarded as giving infinite value to 
any suffering of His ; so that the value of the sufferings 
would be infinitely great though its amount were 
infinitely small. 

The assumed advantages of this system as a modi- 
fication of the earlier Calvinism are chiefly these, — 
First, as to the extent of the atonement. To teach 
that Christ died for all is consonant with the most 
obvious meaning of the language of the inspired 
writers, — which cannot be brought to utter a limited 
atonement without much forcing. While, besides, an 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 77 

universal atonement is an adequate, and the only 
adequate foundation for the preaching of the Gospel 
as good news of salvation to all : — and they dwell with 
much force on the kind of mental reservation which 
the older system ascribes to God in inviting all to 
partake in what is only prepared for some, because the 
some only will accept the invitation. Secondly, as to 
the need be for atonement. A necessity for an atone- 
ment arising out of rectoral or public justice, is felt less 
repulsive than one that impHes a demand in the divine 
nature for a certain amount of suffering as the punish- 
ment of a certain amount of sin. Thirdly, as to the 
nature of the atonement. All that men have revolted 
from in the idea of the Son of God being actually in 
His Father's eyes as a criminal through imputation ■ of 
man's sin, and being punished accordingly, is thought 
to be avoided; as well as all that is of the nature of 
legal fiction in imputation of guilt to an innocent being, 
or of righteousness to a guilty being. Fourthly, as to 
the results of the atonement. They dwell largely on 
the manifestation of the divine character, and on the 
vindication of the divine judgment on sin, as well as 
of the divine sovereignty in the salvation of those who 
are saved,— seeing that those who perish, perish, not 
because a salvation was not provided for them, but 
because they would not accept of it. Owen had said in a 
passage already quoted, that *Ho affirm Christ to die 
for all men, is the readiest way to prove that He died 
for no man in the sense Christians have hitherto be- 
lieved, and to hurry poor souls into the bottom of 
Socinian blasphemies." Here, that Christ died for aU 
men is maintained; but, at the same time, *Hhe objec- 
tions of the Socinian'' to "redemption through the 
merits of Christ," are held to be "all silenced." — ^'If 
he is not allowed for his weapons the wrath of a God of 



78 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY UODITISD. 

love, — Hie transfer of moral character, — the infliction 
of legal punishment on the innocent, his gauntlet can 
grasp no other. The doctrine of a substitutionary 
atonement not only blunts but breaks and shivers 
these favourite and long used lances of Socinianism." 
(Jenkyns, 317.) But, doubtless, Owen would regard 
this as a victory obtained only by concessions; — for 
Owen would say, that the doctrine that Christ died for 
all men is combined with the distinct concession, " that 
He died for no man in the sense Christians have 
hitherto believed;" — ^and he would be entitled so to 
reply, at least in reference to the sense attached to 
the word atonement in the discussions between himself 
and Arminians. 

• With much in what seems to be the mental history 
of this modified Calvinism I have full sympathy. The 
constraint felt in preaching Christ to all, while beHeving 
that He only died for some, is easily understood ; while, 
doubtless, Owen's arguments for a limited atonement, 
if the atonement had been what, in the controversies 
between him and Arminians it was on both sides 
assumed to be, were unanswerable as arguments what- 
ever scriptural difficulties they might involve. Again, 
in the concession which seems made to Socinians, on the 
subject of the untransferable nature of guilt and merit, 
and the difficulty of assuming that by a legal fiction 
God sees things other than as they really are, I concur 
with them, although I feel that there are important 
principles in Edwards's argument on the substitution of 
Christ for us, to which they do not seem to me to give 
due weight ; and, although the even stronger language 
of Luther as to Christ's identification of Himself with 
us, instead of repelling me, as it does them, is to my 
mind a very near approach to truth; and I am dis- 
posed to think was spiritually, though not intellectually. 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIflED. 70 

truth in him. But I have much more sympathy in 
their difficulties than satiafa^ioa in the way in which 
they have dealt with them. 

Believing that Christ died for all, and perceiving 
that the conceptions of the nature of the atonement 
from which the earlier Calvinists reasoned, did indeed 
imply, if logically followed out, that He only died for 
some, the teachers of this modified Calvinism have 
seemed to themselves to have found a solution of the 
difl&culty, in their conception of rectoral or public jus- 
tice as what called for an atonement for sin. But, 
surely, rectoral or public justice, if it is to have any 
moral basis-any basis other than expediency-must 
rest upon, and refer to, distributive or absolute justice. 
In other words, unless there be a rightness in connect- 
ing sin with misery, and righteousness with blessedness, 
looking at individual cases simply in themselves, I 
cannot see that there is a rightness in connecting them 
as a rule of moral government. ^* An English judge 
once said to a criminal before him, 'You are condemned 
to be transported, not because you have stolen these 
goods, but that goods may not be stolen.'" (Jenkyns^ 
175, 176.) This is quoted in illustration of the position, 
that "the death of Christ is an honourable ground for 
remitting punishment," because "His sufferings answer 
the same ends as the punishment of the sinner." I do 
not recognise any harmony between this sentiment of 
the English judge and the voice of an awakened con- 
science on the subject of sin. It is just because he has 
siimed and deserves punishment, and not because he 
says to himself, that God is a moral governor, and 
must punish him to deter others, that the wrath of 
God against sin seems so terrible — ^and as just as 
terrible. As little is this sentiment in harmony with 
what the words teach, "The wages of sin is death." 



80 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

Owen and Edwards do not err in believing, that the 
righteousness of God connects sin with misery, as 
by a righteous reward, irrespective of state reasons. 
Their error is, I believe, twofold, — concluding as to 
that award beyond what they had light for their 
guidance, — and — and this chiefly — not seeing any hope 
for the sinner in the very righteousness of God, — as if 
the righteousness of God would have full satisfaction in 
reference to the unrighteous, in their being miserable. 
"Good and righteous is the Lord, therefore will he teach 
sinners the way which they should choose." 

Rectoral justice so presupposes absolute justice, and 
so throws the mind back on that absolute justice, that 
the idea of an atonement that will satisfy the one, 
though it might not the other, must be a delusion. 

The recommendation of the distinction sought to be 
drawn has been, that it seemed to harmonise an atone- 
ment for all, with the ultimate punishment of those 
who do not accept of that atonement; — that is to say, 
as Calvinists pressed the point on Arminians, — the 
punishment of many whose punishment Christ had 
previously endured: this stronghold of Calvinism it 
seemed to overturn. But as long as Christ's sufferings 
are held to be pencU, which, even when the old form of 
words is most departed from, is the expression still 
used, I cannot see what difference it makes, whether 
they be held as by Owen, to have been the same 
that those for whom he suffered were obnoxious to ; — 
or as Baxter, with Grotius, held, — equivalent; — or as 
Dr. Jenkyns holds, "different in nature and kind, — 
in quantity and degree." If they were penal, then, that 
those for whom He suffered should be punished them- 
selves, must still suggest the idea sought to be avoided, 
of sin twice punished. 

Nor is the difficulty less because, not regarding our 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 81 

sins as imputed to Christ in the sense of the elder 
Calvinists, objection is made to speaking of Christ as 
punished for our sins ; the expression being substituted, 
that what He suffered was the punishment of our sins. 
This distinction, introduced by Andrew Fuller, is a- 
dopted by Dr. Payne, who would press it further than 
Fuller; and I suppose that it is contemplated by Dr. 
Jenkyns when he says, "Christ's sufferings were not a 
punishment." (p. 292.) But Dr. Payne recognises our 
sins as imputed to Christ in the sense of " inflicting upon 
Him the punishment due to them" (p. 260) ; and Dr. Jenr 
kyns, while at as much pains to bring out the difference 
between what Christ suffered and what those for whom 
He suffered were exposed to suffer, as Dr. Owen is to 
bring out, if he could, an identity, (being indeed quite 
successftd in this, while Owen is altogether unsuccess^ 
fill), yet regards "made a sin offering for us" (in 2 Cor. 
5 and 21) as equivalent to "made liable to punishment 
for us" (p. 287), — and enlarges on Christ's "suffering as if 
He had been a sinner." (p. 284.) If Christ was '^made 
liable to punishment," if He was "treated as if He were 
a sinner," that is, if God so treated Him — for the mis-r 
apprehensions of men are nothing — ^then, to say that He 
was not punished though the punishment of our sins 
was endured by Him, however it is a softening of 
expressions, is not to any real effect so to modify the 
idea of atonement as to do away with the difficulty of 
a double punishment for sin. 

This distinction between being punished, and .endur- 
ing sufferings which are a punishment, is adopted in 
connexion with the denial of the imputation of our 
guilt to Christ, and in this view is held to remove 
the difficulties of one class of objectors, — although to 
call sufferings a punishment while the sufferer is not 
regarded as punished, involves new difficulties. But, 

CAMPB. 6 



82 CALVINISM^ AS B£0£NTLT KODIFIED. 

the change on which most weight is laid, is in the view 
taken of the relation in which the sufferings endured 
are represented as standing to the divinity of the 
sufferer. That the personal dignity of the Saviour is 
the important aspect of the incarnation in relation to 
the atonement, is much insisted on. Divinity as a 
capacity for enduring infinite penal infliction, is an idea 
which is recognised as rightly offending. Divinity as 
giving infinite value to any measure of humiliation or 
suffering condescended to, is urged as what should 
recommend itself as a far more worthy conception. 
How far removed from either conception the truth of 
the case has been, — ^how far different from a capacity of 
enduring infinite penal infliction, or a giving infinite 
value to penal suffering, however small its amount, has 
been the relation of the divinity of Christ to His 
sufferings in making propitiation for our sins will, I 
trust, be made clear in the sequel. 

But there are two points in relation to the suflferings 
of Christ, as spoken of in these two forms of Calvinism 
severally, which appear to me deserving of our special 
attention, viz. that the language employed in speaking 
of the part of the Father in relation to these suffer- 
ings, is much the same ;— and that, the details specified, 
when details of the elements of suffering are ventured, 
are much the same, or at least are of the same nature. 

I. The language of the later Calvinists in speaking 
of the part of the Father in relation to the sufferings oS 
Christ, is not essentially different from that of those 
whose system they feel it necessary to modify. 

President Edwards is quoted by Dr. Stroud (who 
dedicates his book to Dr. Pye Smith) as representing 
CSirist as "suffering a positive infliction of divine wrath," 
which to teach, he esteems chargeable with error, — 
"not to say absurdity." (p. 209.) These are some of the 



CAIiVIKIBM, AS RECJSNTLT MODIPIBD. 88 

Beatencea which he quotea '^Eev^iging justice then 
Bpent all its force upon Him on account of our guilt,... 
and tliis was the way and means by which Christ stood 
up for the honour of God's justice, viz. by thus suffering 
its terrible executions: for when He had undertaken for 
sinners^ and had substituted Himself in their room, 
divine justice could have its due honour no other way 
than by His suffering its revenges/' Yet Dr. Stroud 
himself says^ '^A transition m.ore sudden or violent 
than that which took place from the seraphic di^sourses 
and devotions of Ohriat after the paschal supper, to 
the horrors of Qethsemane, can scarcely be conceived. 
That He was about to suffer from the immediate hand 
of God is implied by His prediction to the apostles on 
the way. In the absence of all external infliction, the 
cup of trembling which was then presented to Him by 
the Father, and which He so earnestly petitioned might 
if possible be withdrawn, could have been no other 
than the cop of the wrath of God,. Hhe poison, whereof 
drinketh up the spirit ' " (p. 215): and he quotes with ap- 
probation from Bambach, a passage in which he speaks 
of our Lord as having '^to su£Eer all the £Eoods of the 
divine wrath to pass over Him, which would have over- 
whelmed our Saviour's human Xkature, had not the 
divinity within Him supported it in tibis terriMe trial;' 
Dr. Pye Smith says, ''Jesus Christ voluntarily sustained 
that whidi was the marked pumsbmeat of sin." (p. 35-) 
^'The tremendous manifestations of God's displeasure 
against sin, He endured, though in Him. was no sin: 
and He endured them in a manner of which those un- 
happy spirits who shall drink the fierc^iess of the wrath 
of Almighty God will never be able to farm an adequate 
idea." (p. 42.) Dr. Jenkyns saysy '^Themost amazing cir- 
cumstance connected with His death was^ that He suf* 
tered as one disowned, and re{m)bated, and forsaken of 

6—2 



84 CALVINISM, AS "RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

God/' &c. (p. 284.) "The just is treated as if He had 
been unjust, the Son of God suffered as if He had been 
a transgressor." (p. 285.) Dr. Payne ("On the reality of 
the atonement") concludes, that the suflferings of our 
Lord were "dreadful beyond conception," and resulted 
from intense mental suffering, from the burden of our 
guilt which rested upon Him, from that light of His 
Father's countenance which then suffered a total eclipse," 
in relation to which he quotes Psalm Ixxxviii. 4 — 7, 
concluding with the words, " Thy wrath lieth hard upon 
me, and thou hast afflicted me with alt thy waves." 

2. But the other point to which I would direct 
attention, is more striking still ; viz. the oneness of 
character in the elements of suffering which they 
specify. 

What are the " revenges of divine justice," and 
"its terrible executions," which were in Edwards's con- 
templations when he employed those general expres- 
sions which have exposed him to the charge of error, 
nay, absurdity ? The only direct dealing of God with 
Christ which he specifies, is purely negative; — "God 
forsook Christ and hid Himself from Him, and withheld 
comfortable influences, or the clear ideas of pleasant 
objects." This negative wrath, if the expression is not 
a contradiction, is indeed represented as being in order 
that the positive elements of suffering present should 
act with unmitigated power; and what were these? 
First, God hid Himself from Christ " that He might 
feel the^W burden of our sins that was laid upon Himy 
But how laid upon Himf "His having so clear an 
actual view of sin and its hatefulness, was an idea 
infinitely disagreeable to the holy nature of Christ ; 
and therefore, unless balanced with an equal sight of 
good that comes by that evil, must have been an im- 
mensely disagreeable sensation in Christ's soul, or. 



CAI/VINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 85 

wliicH is the saine thing, immense suffering... '.Thus 
Christ bore our sins ; God laid on Him the iniquities of 
us all, and He bare the burden of them." Secondly, 
God thus dealt with Christ, that ^' He might suffer God's 
wrath." But again, how ? — " His suffering wrath con^ 
sisted more in the sense He had of the other thing ; viz: 
the dreadfulness of the punishment of sin, or the dread- 
fulness of God's wrath inflicted for it ;" viz. on those 
on whom it is inflicted. ^' Thus Christ was tormented, 
not only in the fire of God's wrath, but in the fire of 
our sins ; and our sins were His tormentors ; the evil 
and malignant nature of sin was what Christ endured 
immediately," i. e. in being realised by Him as an object 
of mental contemplation, — ^'as well as more remotely, 
in bearing the consequences of it," i. e. the sense of 
these consequences as endured by others. " Thus Christ 
suffered what the damned in hell do not suffer. For 
they do not see the hateful nature of sin;... and as the 
clear view of sin in its hatefulness necessarily brought 
great suffering on the holy soul of Christ, so also did 
the view of its punishment. For both the evil of sin 
and the evil of punishment are infinite evils, and both 
infinitely disagreeable to Christ's nature : the former to 
His holy nature, or His nature as God ; — the latter to 
His human nature, or His nature as man.... Christ's 
love brought His elect infinitely near to Him in that 
great act and suffering wherein He specially stood for 
them, and was substituted in their stead ; and His love 
and pity fixed the idea of them in His mind, as if He 
had really been they ; and fixed their calamity in His 
mind, as though it really was His. A very strong and- 
lively pity towards the miserable, tends to make their 
case ours ; as in other respects, so in this in particular, 
as it doth in our idea place us in their stead, under their 
misery, . . .as it were feeling it for them, actually suffering 



86 CALVINISM, AS R1S0SNTLY MODIFIED. 

it in their stead by strong sympathy/' On Satisfaction 
far Sin, § 9, i . 

I am quite sensible of the injustice done to the 
remarkable passage from which I quote, by thus curtail- 
ing it. But I have given enough of it for my purpose in 
quoting it ; viz. to shew that, however strong or start- 
ling Edwards's general expressions as to Christ being, in 
consequence of the imputation of our guilt, subjected to 
'* the revenges of divine justice," there is, when he ex- 
plains himself, nothing of the nature of legal fiction in 
his conception of the way in which Christ hove the burden 
of our sins ; as neither is there anything of the nature 
of the actual going forth of divine wrath against the 
holy onCf because of His standing in the room of sinners, 
in what is called " His endurance of wrath ;" but that 
the whole suffering conceived of, is resolved into a vivid 
perception and realisation of the hatefulness of sin, and 
of the greatness of the wrath to which it has exposed 
sinners ; these two ideas affecting our Lord in the mea- 
sure of His infinite holiness and love. So strictly has 
Edwards, in endeavouring to imagine ingredients to fill 
a full cup of suffering, adhered to the limits which he 
recognises in saying that ''Christ suffered the wrath 
of God for men's sins in such a way as He was 
capable of, being an infinitely holy person, who knew 
that God was not angry with Him personally, knew 
that God did not hate Him, but infinitely loved Him." 
It is, indeed, a great relief, to see this great and good 
man, while dealing so much in the language of what 
seems legal fiction in that high region in which fiction 
can have no place, when he comes to explain the fiwjts 
of Christ's actual experience, as they were conceived of 
by him, saying nothing that implied, either that God 
looked on Christ in wrath, or that Christ felt as if He 
did. And, when I use the word " explain," I am very 



CALVINISM, AB RECENTLT MODIFISD. 67 

far indeed from intending to suggest any attempt to 
soften, or explain away. Edwards is in no way attempt- 
ing to make his doctrine less obnoxious : on the con^ 
trary, as in the choice of general expressions he selects 
the most extreme, so in setting forth the elements of the 
Saviour's sufferings, he is making out the strongest case 
that he can, within the limit which he has recognised. 

The teaching that substitutes, ^'enduring the punish- 
ment of our sins," for, '^ being punished for our sins," 
has still, to seek for elements of penal suffering; 
— and the same relief which is felt in interpreting 
the general expressions of Edwards in reference to the 
divine wrath which Christ suffered, by the details 
of Christ's actual sufferings which he specifies, is again 
•experienced in passing fit)m the general expressions of 
the modified Calvinism to the illustrations of these 
which are offered. The "wrath" or "malediction," as 
he more frequently expresses it, which Dr. Stroud con- 
templates, is " the loss for a time of all sense of God's 
friendship, all enjoyment of His communion" (p. 192),— 
which, the consciousness of sinles^ness remaining^ and 
there being no miscoiweption assumed as to the Father's 
true estimate of Him as the holy one of Godj however 
it would be suffering, could with no propriety be called 
malediction and wrath. Dr. Pye Smith's specification 
of the elements of suffering, is strikingly like that 
of President Edwards, both in the limit recognised, 
" He suffered in such a manner as a being perfectly holy 
could suffer" (p. 41), and in the moral nature assigned to 
the suffering, as arising from holiness and love realis* 
ing the evil of sin, and intensely interested in those who 
were its victims, (p. 42.) The elements which Dr. Payne 
finds in our Lord's sufferings, are also intense views of 
the evil of sin, combined with the withholding of coun- 
terbalancing support (p. x8i) ; — and, though he speaks of 



r- 



S8 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

the " penal elements" in our Lord's cup of suffering, and 
recognises the withholding of those manifestations of 
^supreme complacency in His character and conduct 
which He had previously enjoyed, as in itself a most 
distressing testimony of the divine anger against sin, 
and probably implied in the language of the prophet, 
^' It pleased the Father to bruise Him," which thought 
-he adopts from Dr. Dwight, he proceeds to object 
to Dr. Dwight's representing the hidings of God's 
•face as implying "the suffering of His hatred and 
contempt," saying, " No sober minded man can ad- 
mit this. The fact of the case most unquestionably 
is, that the Father did not despise Him, — ^was not 
angry with Him when He hung on the cross. Never, 
indeed, did He regard Him with such ineffable complar 
cency. How then could He manifest that displeasure 
which did not exist?" (p. 182.) Dr. Jenkyns says, as 
what he regards as a mitigation of Christ's sufferings, (as 
to which, he rather says what they were not, than what 
they were), — "His sufferings were not a punishment. 
His consciousness of personal rectitude, and His confi- 
dence in His Father, never forsook Him. In the darkest 
hour of His anguish. His assurance of God's approbation 
and acceptance was in the highest exercise, — ' Father,' 
He said, 4nto thy hands I commend my spirit.' " (p. 292.) 
My quotations are necessarily brief, but the refer- 
ences will guide those who may be disposed to verify 
the correctness of the impressions which these quota- 
tions convey. What remains with me, after fully 
weighing all that either school of Calvinists have felt 
warranted to present to our faith in picturing the actual 
elements of the sufferings of Christ, is the conviction, 
that they have not ventured to assume anything as to the 
actual consciousness of Christ in suffering, or as to the 
actual mind of the Father towards Him, while it pleased 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 89 

the Father SO to bruise Him, or as to His own apprehen- 
sion of the light in which His Father saw Him, in His 
dealing with the Father, and the Father's dealing with 
Him in reference to our sins, which at all accords, 
either with the older idea of guilt being imputed to 
Him, and therefore wrath going forth upon Him — the 
wrath due to guilt — or, the new idea of His being 
treated as if He were guilty, as if He were a trans^ 
gressor. Elements of great sufferings are specified, — by 
some with more definiteness than by others ; the former 
.writers also giving more prominence to the Saviour's 
sense of the eternal misery to which sin had subjected 
sinners; — ^the latter, more to His sense of the sin itself; 
— elements of suffering are specified, all of them at least 
conceivable, — ^of suffering, some call infinitely, others, 
indefinitely great. But however these accord, and 
they do, so far as they go, accord with the idea of 
sacrificial atoning suffering, they do not accord with 
the penal character ascribed to them. Yet this penal 
character ascribed to these sufferings, without necessity 
as respects their own nature, — I believe in contradic- 
tion to their own nature, — ^is that very thing which 
had originated the difficulty as to the universality of 
the atonement; and, as appears to me, leaves it a diffi- 
culty on the system of the modem, as much as of the 
elder Calvinists. 

But, my objection to the conception of rectoral or 
public justice, as that in which the necessity for the 
atonement has originated, is much more serious than its 
inadequacy to remove difficulties as to the universality 
of the atonement. My great objection is that, equally 
with the view for which it is offered as a substitute, it 
takes a limited, and, — in respect of the important ele- 
ments which it leaves out of account, — ^^an erroneous 
view of what the atonement was intended to accomplish. 



90 CALVINISM^ AB BECSNTLT MODITIED. 

If tny readers have entered into my objections to 
the mere legal character of the atonement, as we see it 
in the system of the elder Calvinists, they will see that, 
in req>ect of these objections, the modified Calvinism 
has no advantage. An atonement which has conferred 
on those with reference to whom it was made a legal 
standing of innocence, as having had their guilt already 
punished, and of righteousness as having a righteous- 
ness abeady wrought out for them ; and an atonement 
whose result is merely to lay a foundation on which 
God may proceed to pardon sin, and to treat as righte- 
ous, are alike purely legal atonements, that is, atone* 
toents, the whole character of which is determined by 
man's relation to the divine law. 

Dr. Wardlaw asks, — man having sinned, '^what 
is to be done? The unconditional absolution of the 
transgressor would be a flagrant outrage on the claims 
of retributive justice ; — ^his annihilation would be a 
tacit evasion of these claims, — while, if the law has its 
course, and the demands of justice are satisfied by the 
infliction of its penalty, he is lost for ever, — eternal 
life forfeited, and eternal death endured. Here, then, is 
the place for atonement, — what is it?" (p. lo.) He then, 
quoting from Dr. Alexander, says, — "In its simplest 
form the problem of a religion may be expressed thus : 
Given a Supreme Deity, the Creator and Governor of 
ietll things, and an intelligent creature in a state of 
alienation and estrangement from his Creator ; to de- 
termine the means whereby a reconciliation may be 
effected, and the creature restored to the favour and 
service of God." This statement of the question he 
adopts — adding, "The problem to be solved is this. 
How may this be accomplished honourably to the 
character and government of the Supreme Ruler ?" He 
then quotes several definitions of atonement, among 



CALTINI8M, AS RECXNTLY MODIVISD. 91 

these, ihis &om Dr. Jenkyns^ ^'Atonement is an expe* 
dient substituted in the place of the literal infliction of 
the penalty, so as to supply the govemment just and 
good grounds for dispensing favours to an offender ;" — 
and this from Andrew Puller, "That a way was opened 
by the mediation of Christ, for the free and consistent 
exercise of mercy in all the ways which sovereign 
wisdom saw fit to adopt. '^ The definitions are all to 
the same effect, and all accord with what I have said 
of the legal character ascribed to the atonement, — so 
that, retrospectively, it but meets a demand that per* 
tains to the character of God as a Lawgiver, and pro- 
spedively. is related to the mercjr He may manifest, 
only in the way of making such manifestation of mercy 
consistent with the interests of His moral government, 
and promotive of them. 

But the problem which the work of God in Christ 
solves, however it includes, goes far beyond that stated 
by Dr. Alexander, or recognised in these definitions. 
In the light of the Gospel we see, that our need of 
salvation, and our capacity of salvation as contemplated 
by the Father of our spirits, involved the problem, — • 
not "how we sinners could be pardoned and reconciled, 
and mercy be extended to us;'' but, '*how it could 
come to pass, that we, God's oflfepring, being dead, 
should be alive again, being lost, should be found." 
"God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made 
under the law, that He might redeem us who were 
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of 
sons."' It was as employed " in bringing many sons to 
glory, that, it became Him, of whom are aJl things, and 
by whom, are all things, to make the Captain of their 
salvation perfect through sufferings." 

Nothing can illustrate the way in which this purely 
legal view of the atonement works, and what is its 



92 CALVINISM AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

development, better than the conclusions at which Dr. 
Wardlaw has arrived, and which he expresses in com- 
menting upon the words "to put away sin." "The 
expression is significantly general. And, for my own 
part, I am unable to discover any valid objection to 
our stating the design of the atonement in this form : 
That it was an atonement for sin, an atonement 
whose value was so unlimited, so strictly and properly 
infinite, that on the ground of its merits, had God 
willed it, fallen angels nught have been saved as well as 
fallen men : nay, had there been a thousand rebel worlds, 
the inhabitants of them all." (p. 107.) Thus he concludes, 
— contemplating the atonement as simply a grand moral 
display, illustrative of God's condemnation of sin and 
delight in holiness. And such a display it undoubtedly 
is, — but it is much more than this — neither is it even 
this healthfully and truly, apart from those specialities 
in man's condition, and from that divine purpose con- 
cerning man, by which its nature and character have 
been determined. How difierent from this abstract 
atonement for sin, is the specific reference to the con- 
dition of human spirits in the words, "For what the law 
could not do, in that it was weak through the jleshj God 
sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and 
for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness 
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after 
the flesh, hut after the spiHt.'^ 

The objection to both forms of Calvinism on the 
ground of the narrow and exclusively legal basis on 
which the necessity for atonement is placed, is instruct- 
ively illustrated by the relation in which the atonement 
is represented as standing to justification by faith. We 
may here take President Edwards as the representative 
of the earlier Calvinism, and Dr. Payne as the repre- 
sentative of the modified Calvinism. 



/ 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 93 

Both Edwards and Payne regard the work of Christ 
as the meritorious ground of justification. Both regard 
faith as that by which the individual is so connected 
with that work as to be justified on the ground of it. 
Both are alike solicitous to exclude the faith present in 
justification from being itself in any measure included 
in the ground of that justification; while, at the same 
time, both regard this faith as what has a rightness in 
itself, and as what is due from man as the right recep- 
tion of the gospel. Payne, indeed, treats faith more as 
an intellectual act thaii Edwards does. But, still, he 
objects to putting it on a footing with the ordinary case 
of belief under the power of evidence; in doing which 
he thinks some others have erred. The difierence 
between their several systems is connected with the 
idea of imputation. As Edwards holds man's guilt 
to have been imputed to Christ when He suffered for 
sin, so he holds Christ's righteousness to be imputed 
to believers, making them personally righteous in God's 
sight, — which imputation he holds, not only to clothe 
their persons, determining the complacency with which 
God regards them, but also, all their virtues and graces, 
giving them a value beyond their intrinsic value. 
Payne on the other hand, as he rejects the conception 
of imputation of guilt, rejects also that of imputation 
of righteousness, and holds, "that to be in a justified 
state, is not either to be pronounced just, or to be made 
actually just, — for both are impossible in the case of a 
sinner, — but it is to be treated as if we were just ; or 
rather, perhaps, to be in the state of those whom 
God declares that He will treat as if they were just, 
i. e. it is to be in the faith of Christ ; for the divine 
declaration is, that believers are the persons who ^hall 
be treated iis if they were just." (p. 333,) 

Whatever difficulty attaches to the idea of imputa- 



94 CALVINI8K, AS BSCSNTLY MODlPlfiD. 

tion, this way of escaping firom it is to me very tmsatis- 
fectory. The idea "that guilt and innocence or mn 
and righteousness are transferable in their effects but 
untransferable in themselves,'' which underlies the whole 
system of modem Calvinism on this subject, and is the 
ground on which I>r. Payne, while rejecting the expres- 
sion ^^imputation," continues to use ^'treated as if,'' 
seems to be tenable^ if tenable at all, only if we exclude 
from our consideration all the more important effects of 
sin and righteousness. 

As respects the sinner's relation to God, the effect of 
sin whidi is most important ii^ ihe displeasure awakened 
in the divine mind. But, Christ is not hekl to have 
been really the object of the divine displeasure through 
the relation in which He stood to us and our sin% how* 
ever expressions have been u^d which, apart from Hie 
details offered in explanation, might seem to contain 
that assertion; and Dr. Payne has not only asserted 
the very opposite to have been the case, but has asked, 
and the question is xmanswerabLe, — ^'How could God 
manifest that displeasure which did not exisil " Neither 
Grod's displeasure, nor, therefore, anything expressing 
God's displeasure, are we to conceive of as included in 
the alleged transferred efiects of sin. But what in all our 
Lord's sufferings can be rightly spoken of as "transferred 
effects of sin" ? were not these sufferings in their nature 
altogether determined by what He was who suffered? 
and is not the &ct that Christ's sufferings were in reality 
the effects of holiness a^ love, and not trajisferred 
effects of fidn, — discernible in all the attempts whicb we 
have seen made to specify the elements of His sufferings ? 

But, are the effects of righteoussness more transfer- 
able? It is, indeed, far less repulsive to think of tltese 
as transferred to us than to think of tibe dSeets of sin 
as transferred to Christ ; as it is also hx less repulsive 



/ 



CALVINISM^ AS BECENTLT XOBIFISD« 95 

to think of Christ's righteousness as imputed to us 
than to think of our sin as imputed to Christ,— to think 
of God as well pleased with us for Christ s sake than 
to think of God as contemplating Christ with displea. 
sure for our sake. But are the effects of righteousness 
transferable any more than the effects of sin ? The root 
matter here is Gkxi's &your^ as there it was His displea^ 
sure. Is the fevour of God — that favom* which is life 
'- — ^thus transferable? nay^ is any real firuit of righteous- 
ness as respects the experience of the human spirit in 
its relation to God^ and intercourse with Him; or 
in its relation to man, and what manis to man through 
love ; or in the mind's self-consciousness, and inward 
peace and harmony, — is any real fruit of righteousness 
in any of these aspects of the subject — and these are the 
fundamental and alone important aspects of it — transfer* 
able any more than ri^teousness itself? or, are any of 
these at all separable from righteousness? If^ indeed^ 
we descend to a lower r^on, it is at least intelligible 
how certain benefits may be conceived of as conferred 
for Christ's sake — ^though it would be far from correct 
to speak of these as ''effects of righteousness tran&rred," 
or, of their bestowal upon us as a treating us as if we 
were righteous. But is there place for anything so 
outward as this in the matter of justification ? Surely^ 
a justification which does not introduce into the divine 
&Your, into the light of the divine countenance, is no 
justification at alL 

The strict maintenanoe of the idea of imputation 
enables Edwards to give to the expression, '^fi)r Christ's 
sake," an amplitude of meaning that> as respects justifi^ 
cation, may seem to meet all tlie exigences of the subject* 
If God sees us as dothed with the righteousness of 
Christ, he may be ocmceived of as smiling. on us with 
the smile of favour proper to thai righteousness: and 



96 CALVINISM^ AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

to this the faith of the elder Calvinists rose. But, if 
this idea of imputation is given up, then, whatever else 
may be supposed to be given for Christ's sake, nothing 
that is suggested by the words "the favour of God which 
rests upon Christ," can be conceived of as so given. 

Dr. Payne quotes Mr. Bennet as "having happily 
and satisfactorily shewn, that ^the practice of confer-^ 
ring favours upon many, from regard to, and as an 
expression of approbation of, some eminently distin« 
guished individual,' may be regarded as a law of the 
divine government: while, on the other hand, the 
procedure supposed, viz. considering a person what he 
really is not, and then treating him as if he had been 
what he is not, has no analogy in any part of the divine 
conduct." (p. 263.) No doubt this is true. . But we must 
not forget the high region in which we now are, and that, 
not of secondary gifts, but of that life which lies in God's 
favour^ are we speaking. This we receive through 
Christ, or we receive nothing; and in reference to this, 
any correct use of the expression, "for Christ's sake," 
must have a far higher meaning than these analogies 
furnish. Abraham believed God, and was^ called the 
friend of God, and his descendants received many 
favours for his sake; — but were they for his sake 
"friends of God," or "treated as friends of God," 
a/part from their participation in that reality in re- 
spect of which he was the friend of God ? "They who 
are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." 

Edwards ascribes the place which faith has in justi- 
fication simply to this, that it connects the individual 
with Christ. Payne says, "If we are justified solely on 
the ground of the perfect work of Christ, there is 
nothing to prevent the justification of all men, without 
a single thought or act on their part, but the rectoral 
char£i<)ter and relation of Jehovah, which renders it 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 97 

necessary that some rule of justification should be 
enacted, that the justice of the Divine Being may be 
rendered apparent by His bestowing it upon those, and 
those only, who comply with that rule. Now, it is 
manifest that any requisition (and it must be a requi- 
sition on account of the rectoral character of God) 
would secure this object; it might be love, for instance." 
But to this, i. e. making it love, the objection, he says, 
would be, that this justification might appear to be by 
works, but faith is not liable to this objection, because it 
"cannot be confounded with fulfilling the law." Yet 
Dr. Payne has just been employed in objecting, and not 
without reason, to the idea, that faith is as it were a 
new law. Now certainly there is no conception of the 
relation of faith to justification which seems so fitted to 
suggest that objectionable idea as the conception which 
Dr. Payne has expressed in the words just quoted: — 
for if faith is a requisition, compliance with which is 
required that the jitstice of the Divine Being may be renr 
dered apparent in His distinguishing of individuals in 
the bestowal of justification, then what is more natural 
than to feel that the new law of faith is that under 
which we are, compliance with which is righteously 
acknowledged by including us in the number who shall 
be treated for Christ's sake as if they were righteous, 
and non-compliance with which shall infer condem- 
nation? That it seems to Dr. Payne that the moral 
Governor of the Universe was "free to adopt any rule — 
only it must be some fixed and declared rule, " indicates 
a greater departure from the consideration of the nature 
of the case than I can well understand. Surely the 
conception of Edwards, that faith is connected with 
justification, because it connects with Christ, commends 
itself much more, — as it also is, in my apprehension, 
more fitted to secure the end -which both seek to attain, 

-CAMPB. 7 



98 OALYINISM^ AS REGENTLT MODIFIED. 

viz. that the meritorious work of Christ should be really 
the believer's felt ground of coufidence towards God, 
and not his own faith. It may seem, indeed, as if this 
were secured on Dr. Payne's system by its being a part 
of the gospel believed, that the work of Christ was 
the meritorious ground of justification, — ^as well as on 
President Edwards's system, by its being a part of the 
gospel beheved, that we are made righteous and are 
accepted because of the imputation of Christ's right- 
eousness; and, no doubt, in strictness of thought it is 
a contradiction to say, that I am trusting to Christ's 
work as the ground on which God treats me as if I 
were righteous, and, at the same time, that I esteem my 
own faith that ground, as well as it is a contradiction to 
say, that I am trusting to the imputation of Christ's 
righteousness, and, at the same time, to my own faith. 
But I cannot in either case forget that my faith is that 
which has individualised me, — ^and the remembrance of 
this is, as it seems to me, less likely to produce a self-* 
righteous feeling, if I am thinking of myself as clothed 
with the righteousness of Christ, and in the mind of the 
Father identified with Christ, than if I am thinking 
of myself as by my faith introduced into the circle of 
those with whom, according to the rule of government 
which He has revealed, God will, for Christ's sake, deal 
as if they were righteous. For, in proportion as faith 
is contemplated as a requisition made in order that it 
may be the basis of a judgment, and is not felt to be 
simply the natural and necessary link connecting us 
with Christ, there is an opening afibrded for the coming 
in of self-righteousness. 

But the fear about self-righteousness arises entirely 
from not seeing, that the true protection from self- 
righteousness is found in the very nature of faith. The 
true faith precludes self-righteousness, because that 



i 



CALVINISM, AS BBCBNTLY MODIFIED. * 99 

which it apprehends is the Father revealed by the Son. 
He who beholds the glory of God in the fece of Jesus 
Christ, is saved from self-righteousness by the native 
power on his spirit of the glory which he beholds. He 
is in the presence of the true God, truly known, and 
"no flesh shall glory in His presence." It is an error to 
hold the connexion between fidth and justification to be 
arbitrary, but it is a deeper error not to see, that faith 
excludes boasting, not by the arrangements of a scheme, 
but by its being the knowledge of the true God. To 
take precautions that the confidence towards God which 
arises in fitith shall not be self-righteous, is to me as 
monstrous as it would be to take precautions that light 
should not be darkness. Indeed, this is the very thing 
which, in taking such precautions, is done — done in 
reference to the highest, the absolute light — the light 
of eternal life. 

This serious error would never have been fallen into, 
if the atonement had been seen in its prospective relation 
to the gift of eternal Ufe in Christ, and as that by which 
God has bridged over the gulf between what we were 
through sin, and what, in the yearnings of His Father's 
heart over us, He desired to make us. ^'This is the 
record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this 
life is in His Son." Less than our being alive in that 
eternal life which is sonship, could not satisfy the Father 
of our spirits ; nor, as orphan spirits, as in our aliena- 
tion from God we are, would less than the gift of that 
life have met our need. And the faith which appre- 
hends this gift as given, excludes boasting, because it 
occupies the spirit, not with itself, but with the gift 
which it apprehends. For the gift is given ; and he 
that understands what it is, and apprehends it as given, 
is altogether filled with the excellent grace wherein he 
stands, rejoicing in it, and conforming himself to it; 

7—2 



100 CALVINISM, AS RECENttY MODIFIED. 

and thus, seeing the Father as He is revealed }yy Ihe 
Son, and apprehending the Son as the living way to 
the Father, and as the Lord of his spirit, he welcomes 
the Son to reign in his heart, and in the spirit of the 
Son cries, "Abba, Father." And the confidence towards 
the Father in which he so worships, is not only sustained 
by the faith of the Father's delight in the perfection of 
sonship as it is in Christ, but also belongs to the very 
nature of the spirit of sonship, as it is a response to 
the Fatherliness that is in God ; for the feeblest cry of 
faith is a cry in Christ, and one with and a part of that 
which is in its absolute perfection in Christ ; sharing in 
His preciousness to the heart of the Father. So shar- 
ing, not through any process of fiction or imputation — 
as men have spoken — but through a process strictly 
natural, and which commends itself to us as inevitable. 
Now, because of the very near approach to this 
which is in the conception of Edwards, though the 
legal light in which he has so exclusively seen the 
atonement has kept him intellectually (though I do 
not think spiritually) away fi-om it, I would prefer the 
language of Edwards, notwithstanding the tone of 
legal fiction which it has, to what, in seeking to avoid 
fiction. Dr. Payne and others have substituted. It is 
really true, that he that comes to God in Christ, comes 
invested with the interest to the Father's heart of that 
sonship in which he comes, and finds that sonship a 
living way to the Father — an actual getting near to 
God. Therefore, rightly in his own thoughts, because 
truly in the Father's thoughts, is such a worshipper as 
one on whom that very favour rests, which rests upon 
Christ. So that 1 cannot help feeling, in reading Pre- 
sident Edwards's representations of the way in which 
Christ's righteousness invests with its own dignity and 
worth, not only the persons, but the feeblest graces of 



/ 



CALVINIS^f, AS RECBNTI4Y , MODIFIED. 101 

those who are in Christ by faith, that what he says is 
substantially tmey must be true, although not in the way 
of the fiction of an imputation; and I am persuaded 
that, if he had seen the atonement as that by which 
the Father of spirits bridges over the gulf between the 
condition of rebellious, ahenated children, and the con- 
dition of reconciled children trusting in the Father's 
heart, and reposing on His love, instead of seeing it in the 
legal aspect in which he has so exclusively viewed it, he 
would have conceived truly, and spoken unobjectionally, 
of God's imputation of righteousness, and of our accept- 
ance for Christ's sake, — as we have seen Luther does. 

Dr. Payne may feel that this standing of sonship 
given in Christ, and revealed for faith to apprehend 
and enter upon, is Uable to the objection that he urges 
against the idea that the atonement confers legal rights ; 
which idea, while it has had acceptance with others, 
appears to him destructive of the grace of the Gospel. 
And, no doiibt, if the absoluteness with which God 
bestows a gift, leaving it for him on whom it is be^ 
stowed simply that he should receive it and use it 
according to its nature- — if this takes from the free 
grace of God in bestowing, the objection lies equally 
against anjrthing actually given, and as to which it is 
not merely the fact that God has put it in His own 
power to give it if it should please Him. But Dr. Payne 
himself is not able so to order his words as to escape 
all the objectionableness that he finds in the language 
of others. As the most guarded and unexceptionable 
statement he can oflfer of the relation of Faith to Jus- 
tification, he says, " Faith justifies by bringing an indi- 
vidual into that body, to every individual of which the 
blessing of justification is secured by the promise, and 
covenant, and oath of God." (p. 322.) But wherein does 
the having a thing through faith- '^ secured to me by 



102 CALYINISMy AS REOENTLT MODIFIED. 

the promise, and covenant, and oath of God/' differ 
from having through feith a legal right conferred mmef 
He quotes Bishop Hopkins, as using the language of 
right in pleading with Grod on the ground of the work 
of Christ, and contrasts his expressions with those of 
David, " Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy 
lovingkindness ;" and no doubt the contrast is strik- 
ing and instructive. But the oath of God, that if we 
comply with the required condition of faith He will 
treat us as if we were righteous, might justify, in the 
believer, the language of which Dr. Payne complains, 
as well as the doctrine of legal right objected to, 
David's language — ^the language of true faith — the 
language of the spirit of Christ in man — ^is, and ever 
must be, free from all legal taint, simply because it 
is the language of truth, expressing in hinn who is 
led by the spirit of truth, a confidence in harmony 
with the truth of things — a confidence in which corir 
fession of sin is combined with fUcd trust in the Father's 
heart 

No part of this system presents a more instructive 
development of the working of this conception of 
rectoral justice, — and of rectoral justice, not only as 
distinct from fisitherly love, but also from absolute 
justice as contemplated by Edwards, — ^than the arbi- 
trary character already noticed as ascribed by Dr. 
Payne to the relation of faith to justification. For 
while the relation of faith to sanctification is recog- 
nised as a relation in the nature of things, its relation 
to justification is held to be arbitrary — and, in con- 
nexion with this distinction. Dr. Payne objects to Dr. 
Russell's saying that, "the whole eflSlcacy of faith in 
the matter of justification arises from its object.'' To 
this Dr. Payne objects, as embodying "the error of 
forgetting that man needs a change of state as well 



f 



CALVINISM^ AS RECBNTLT MODIFIBD. 103 

as a change of character," i. e. justification as well as 
sanctification. I would quite object to regarding such 
a change of state as amounts only to the "being 
treated as if we were righteous/' had such a thing 
been possible^ as at all filling up the words "from 
being unjust becoming just." But the truth is, that 
the relation of faith to justification is as absolutely one 
in the nature of things as its relation to sanctification. 
The purpose of God that He might be just, and the 
justifier of him that believeth in Christ, has a fer deeper 
and more perfect fiilfilment than: this scheme recog«- 
nises ; and to understand that fulfilment, we must 
learn with Luther to conceive aright of that glory for 
Himself in man which God contemplated when He 
proposed to justify the ungodly by faith. We must 
discern the relation in which the human spirit has 
come to stand to the Father of spirits, when man is 
apprehending and believing the testimony of God, that 
He has given to us eternal life in His Son, — we must see 
the glory that God has in this faith — ^how, where it 
exists, God is in His true place in the heart of man, and 
man is in his true place in relation to God — how man 
has come to be nothing — how God is now all in all — 
how all trust in the flesh, all self-righteousness has 
ceased to be — how trust in the Father's heart has 
come into beii]^, and is the conmienced breathing of 
the breath of eternal life. Of this which faith is ac^ 
compUshing in the human spirit, of this which is the 
glory which God has in our having faith in His Son, we 
must have some discernment, that we may understand 
how God is just, and the justifier of him that beUeveth 
in Jesus. If the weakness and scanty measure of this 
fisiith, as it is found in those that believe, render what 
Luther calls God's imputation necessaiy, — ^if, in order 
that the righteousness of God in our acceptance may be 



104 CAXyiNISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

fully discerned, the nature and development of &ith, as 
these are seen in Christ, must be considered rather than 
the measure of our faith, — this we can understand. For 
we may say that the dawn of the life of Christ in us is 
to the heart of the Father but a hope and promise, as 
the infant is to the parent the promise of the future 
man. The illustration is indeed imperfect, because this 
dawning life is Christ in us, of whose fiilness we are 
receiving. But the important point is, that the joy of 
the heart of the Father over those who are alive to 
Him through feith in the Son, is simply aixd purely joy 
in the jreality of the life of sonship quickened in them, 
and is not sustained by anything of the nature of fiction 
or imputation ; and that it is in this view of what in 
faith is accompUshed as to the real living relation of 
man to God, that we are to see the justification of God 
in man's justification by faith. For do we not feel 
that, if the Eternal Father is satisfied, then must the 
Judge of all the earth be satisfied, — that the provision 
which secures the fulfilment of the longings of the 
Father's heart, must secure the highest ends of rectoral 
government? "My son was dead, and is alive again; 
he was lost, and is found " — answers all things. 

Dr. Payne teaches that " the judicial sentence is not 
revealed to the conscience, but contained in the Scrip- 
tures," that sentence being, " that all who believe in the 
Son of God are justified." And this he teaches both in 
opposition to the doctrine of the eternal justification of 
the elect, and to that of an act of God in reference to 
the individual taking place in time, according to the 
definition of the Assembly's Catechism, (p. 234 — 239.) 

It accords with his conception of the relation be- 
tween faith and justification as being arbitrary, that 
the justified should have no other knowledge of their 
being justified than as an inference from their having 



CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 105 

<jomplied with the arbitrary condition revealed. But if 
the faith that justifies be the faith that apprehends the 
gift of sonship, and cries, Abba, Father, then must Justi- 
fication be revealed in the conscience — even there where 
condemnation had been revealed, and where need of 
justification had been revealed. " If any man have not 
the spirit of Christ he is none of His." "As many as 
are led by the spirit of God they are the sons of God," 
and, "the spirit beareth witness with our spirits that 
we are the sons of God." This is equally remote from 
the assumption of a special personal revelation of the 
fact of justification, and from resting in an inference 
from the declarations of Scripture, that those who be- 
lieve are justified ; for what it amounts to is simply this, 
— that in "counting faith for righteousness" God re- 
cognises it as what it truly is, — and therefore, that He 
not only in His own mind pronounces this condition of 
faith our right condition, but also by His spirit utters 
this judgment in our own hearts. 

Let us trace one step further the difierent develop- 
ments of the faith of an atonement which merely meets 
the demands of divine justice, either absolute, or rec- 
toral ; and of the faith of an atonement through which 
we have the adoption of sons. 

The faith that apprehends the gift of eternal life, is 
eternal life commenced. The faith that apprehends the 
gift of the Son, utters itself in the cry, Abba, Father: 
Therefore, in the deepest sense, the Son of God has 
left us an example that we should walk in His steps. In 
the highest path that our spirits are called to tread, that 
is to say, in our intercourse with the Father of spirits, 
the foot-prints of Jesus are to guide us ; our confidence 
is to be the fellowship of His confidence ; our worship, 
the fellowship of His worship : — for sonship is that wor- 
ship, in spirit and in truths which the Father seeketh. 



106 OALTINISM, AS RBOfiNTLT MODIiriBD, 

But if, according to the system of the earlier Cal- 
vinists, we draw near to God in the confidence of the 
legal standing given to us in Christ, and not as drawn 
to God and emboldened by the Fatherliness of the 
Father's heart revealed by the Son ; or if, according to 
the system of the later Calvinists, we draw near, having 
mental reference to an atonement which has furnished 
a ground on which God may skew us mercy y and not in 
the Kght of an atonement by which we see ourselves 
redeemed from the law, thai we might receive the adop- 
tion of sons, then is our walk with God, — if such it can 
be called, — ^no longer a being led by the spirit of Christ, 
neither are our spiritual steps in His foot-prints ; — ^for 
our experience is no repetition of, no fellowship in His 
experience, nor the breathing of our new Hfe the free 
breathing of the life of sonship, 

I have given to this modified Calvinism a large 
space, but not larger than the acceptance which it has 
met with may justify. It has necessarily arisen from 
the purpose with which I have noticed it, that I have 
dwelt on that in it to which I object, rather than on 
that in it with which I agree ;— but I cannot pass on 
without bearing testimony to the clearness and power 
with which its teachers expose much of that which is 
untenable in the earlier Calvinism, especially on the 
subject of the extent of the atonement. But, as I 
have endeavoured to shew, what is negative is more 
satisfactory than what is positive — ^their breaking down 
than their building up. They have shed no light 
on the nature of the atonement that renders their 
faith in the universality of the atonement more con- 
sistent than that of the Arminians, with whom Dr. 
Owen contended ; still less have they done anything 
towards freeing the doctrine of the atonement from 
its exclusively legal character, or that has connected it 



» 
I 



CALTINISM, AS RBCSNTLT HODEriED. 107 

more intelligently with the purpose of God in redeem- 
ing us who were under the law^ that we might receive 
the adoption of sons. So that whatever foundation 
for a trust in God's mercy this system may offer, it 
may be said as truly of it as of the earlier Calvinism^ 
that stricdy adhered to, and all consciousness that does 
not exactly accord with it being rejected, our walking 
in the footsteps of the Son in His intercourse with the 
Father, — ^in other words, our participation in the life 
of sonship, and all direct dealing on our part with the 
Father's heart as the Father s heart, — ^in other words^ 
all experimental knowledge of God, would become im* 
possible. 

I say " strictly adhered to." But in truth, in men's 
actual, living dealing with God, neither form of Calvin- 
ism, however it may have possession of the intellect, 
affects the spirit of Christ ; whose identity as in the 
head and in the members abides, — ^whose cry, Abb% 
Father, is one and the same as to the nature of the 
confid^ice which that cry expr^ses, being alike faith in 
the heart of the Father, whether as that is perfect in 
the eternal Son who ever dwells in the bosom of the 
Father, or as it is quickened by Him in those to whom 
He reveals the Father, giving them power to be the sons 
of God. 

But a true coiaception of the work of Christ must 
be in perfect harmony with the nature of that eternal 
life — ^the life of sonship — ^which is given to us in Christ. 
The atonement by which the way into the holiest is 
opened to us, must accord with what that living way is, 
and with what it is to draw near to Grod in that way. 
The sacrifice for sin by which the worshippers are sanc- 
tified, must accord with the nature of the worship — ^that 
worship which is the response of the Spirit of the Son 
to the Father : — God is a Spirit ; and they that worshij^ 



108 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, — the 
Father seeketh such to worship Him. 

The persuasion of being in some measure in that 
light as to the nature of the atonement in which this 
unity is seen ; the desire to teach what I seem to my- 
self to have been taught ; the hope to be enabled of 
God so to do ; — ^these are the feelings under the influ- 
ence of which I am now writing. — I have dwelt so long 
on what others have taught, believing that it would 
appear that they have not made my present endeavour 
superfluous, and hoping so far to secure the interest of 
my readers, that they will at least feel that further 
light is desirable, whether a ray of such further light 
be in these pages or not. 

But that no misconception may be entertained as 
to the sense in which I use the word " desirable," I 
may state here first, what light I recognise the atone- 
ment to have shed on men's minds, even while it has 
been, as appears to me, so imperfectly understood ; and 
further, what there has been in the means of grace 
which men have been enjoying, to make up for the short- 
coming that has been in their apprehension of the atone- 
ment, and even to neutralise practically elements of error. 

As to the first point, it is clear that these two rays 
of divine light have been shed on the spirits of all 
who have believed in the atonement, in whichever of 
the forms of thought which we have been considering, 
or in whatever kindred form of thought it has been 
present to their minds, — viz. ist, the exceeding evil and 
terrible nature of sin ; and 2nd, the pure and free 
nature, as well as infinite greatness of the love of God. 
I mean that the human spirit that saw the atonement 
in relation to itself, has, of necessity, been filled with 
an awful sense of the evil of sin, and with an over- 
whelming sense of the love of God. 



OALViNlSM, AS RBCENI'LY MODIFIED: 109 

That the atonement should tell with its fiiU power 
as to the latter of these, (and indeed as to both), the 
use of the pronoun '' our/' which Luther so insists on, 
must be known. But with some of this power, and 
that power increasing as the approach to personal 
appropriation has been nearer, must the atonement 
ever have been realised by human spirits. Of the 
cords of love by which God is felt to draw us when 
the atonement is believed, Gambold has said, "When 
we learn, that God, the very Maker of heaven and earth, 
in compassion to us fallen and wretched creatures, (who 
did no more answer the law of our creation,) and to 
make propitiation for our sins, came down, conversed, 
suffered, and died as a real meek man in this world; 
that by the merit of this act we might be everlastingly 
relieved, pardoned, and exalted to greater privileges 
than we had lost : what must be the effect, but an over- 
whelming admiration, an agony of insolvent gratitude, 
and prostration of our spirit in the dust before our 
Benefactor?" 

Nor is the power of the atonement to impart an 
awfiil sense of the evil of sin less certain, and that, not 
only as testifying to the divine judgment on sin, but 
also as by the excellence of pure unselfish love which 
it vindicates for God, awakening in the human spirit 
the sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin as rebellion 
against God. 

But further, not only have these rays of the light 
that is in the atonement been reaching men's spirits 
even when that doctrine has been most clouded ; much 
also of that light of life whicH is in the atonement/ 
which men from their limited Or erroneous views of its 
nature have failed to receive from it directly, they have 

r • » f- 

still, SO to speak, had refracted to them from the writ- 
ings of those inspired teachers, who themselves were in 



110 CALVINISM, AS RBOINTLT MODIFIED. 

its full light. In this way, though not seen in the 
atonement itself, percq>tions of Gknl's purpose for man 
as revealed in Christ have been attained, which men 
have proceeded to add to their system, and even to 
connect with the atonement, thoi^li not as its due 
development and what it? very nature implied. 

Thus, with the earUer Calvinists, while that legalism 
whidi was in then- views of the work of Christ, 
hindered, as we have seen, their perceptions of the 
relation between the atonement and the law of the 
spirit of the life that is in Christ ; viz. sonship, stQl, 
the purpose of God that we should be sons of God, 
was recognised as taught in the Scriptures, and adop- 
tion was both added to justification in the system 
formed, and also connected with the atonement as a 
part of what Christ's work had purchased for those for 
whom He had given Himselfi So also of sanctification, 
and of all things, in short, pertaining to life and to 
godUness ; they were all recognised as enteriug into 
God's gracious purpose in Christ, and as received 
through Christ,. — and were also connected with the 
atonement as purchased by it, though this connexion 
was in an arbitrary way; the real connexion between 
the atonement and the eternal life giveu in Christ not 
being understood. 

So also in the modem Calvinism, although the 
necessity for, and nature of the atonement, are ex- 
clusively referred to the character of God as a moral 
governor, bound by the obligations of rectoral justice, 
a large benevolence, not to say a Fatherly heart, is 
recognised as availing itself of the removal of the legal 
obstacle to its outflowing. 

The history of Christianity aflFords many iUustrations 
of the divine life that abides in the disjecta membra — 
the fragmentary portions of divine truth, and which so 



CALYimSM, AS RSOSNTLT MODIFUSJ). Ill 

yindicatea its divine character in spite^ not only of 
men's misarrangements, but even of the admixture of 
error. This power, which is seen to belong to portions 
of truth put out of the place they have in the divine 
counsel, and even mixed with error, is mainly to be 
referred to conscience, and ihe Ught that is from God 
in every man ; for great as are the obligations of con* 
science to the Scriptures, not less assuredly are tibose 
of the Scriptures to conscience, by which men's power 
to pervert the Scriptures has been partly limited and 
partly neutralised. But this comforting fact is also 
partly to be referred to the awe with which the Scrip* 
tures are regarded, and which forbids the practical con* 
tradiction of them in those who use them reverently as 
a lamp for their feet and a light far their path; and 
this even where practical conformity with the Scriptures 
is practical contradiction to men's own systems. Thus, 
however conclusive the arguments of Dr. JPayne or 
Dr. Jenkyna appear, when exposing the wrong footing 
before Grod on which sinners are made to stand, when 
taught to think of all they ask as what they have a 
legal vested right to obtain, the serious and devout 
among those who hold the doctrine objected to, are not 
found to be in consequence less lowly, or humble, or less 
frequent in the use of the most heart-broken pleadings 
of the psalms in their actual intercourse with God. 
Thus also are the conclusions we would draw, as to the 
results of believing that Christ died only for some, 
seemingly practically contradicted by the love to all 
men by which many are seen animated who have 
adopted that error. Thus again are antinomian systems 
seen combined with tenderness of conscience, and the 
anxious desire for entire conformity with the will of 
God. These facts arise, I say, partly from the power 
of conscience, and partly from this divine excellence in 



112 CALVINISM, AS RECENTLY MODIFIED. 

Ihe Scriptures, that, teing pervaded by the truth of the 
will of God, in all variety of form, as doctrine, precept,- 
example, that truth, though excluded by a wrong 
system from portions of the word, meets the human 
spirit at other pomts; and, so, the practical teaching of 
an apostle may neutralise a misconception on our part 
as to his doctrines, or an error as to one doctrine be 
counteracted by the full reception of another: — ^a mis- 
appirehension, for example, of that which is taught 
when it is said, that " God justifies the ungodly who 
believe,'' by the apprehension that "without holiness 
no man may see God." 

Yet are we not on this account the less earnestly to 
labour to attain to the apprehension of the unity and 
simplicity of truth. Therefore, while we should be 
thankful for the power which the atonement has over 
men's spirits, even when only partially understood and 
in part misconceived of, and thankful that justification, 
adoption, and sanctification are recognised in men's 
systems, though the relation in which these stand to the 
atonement be artificial rather than natural, yet should 
we feel it desirable to attain, if it may be, to that fuller 
apprehension of the great work of God in Christ which 
will render it to us a full-orbed revelation of God, and 
a manifestation, not of the rectitude of the moral Gover- 
nor of the universe merely, but of the heart of the Eter- 
nal Father, — connecting itself naturally with our justifi- 
cation, adoption, and sanctification, and all that pertains 
to our participation in the eternal life which is the gift 
of the Father in the Son. 



CHAPTER V. 

REASON FOR NOT RESTING IN THE CONCEPTION OF THE 
NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT ON WHICH THESE SYSTEMS 
PROCEED. — THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN BY ITS OWN 
LIGHT. 

npHE idea that the Divinity of our Lord was a pre- 
-*- requisite to the atonement, because it made the 
endurance in time of infinite penal suflferings— sufferings 
therefore commensurate with the eternal sufferings 
which were the doom of sin — possible, has, as we have 
seen, been felt repulsive; and it has been thought a 
worthier conception to regard the personal dignity of 
Christ as giving infinite value to His sufferings, without 
relation at all to their amount. Yet the immeasurably 
great, if not infinite amount of Christ's sufferings is 
still dwelt upon; nor is any attempt made on the 
ground of the dignity of the sufferer to weaken the 
impression which the sacred narrative had hitherto 
been felt to give of what was endured by the man of 
sorrows, and more especially of the awful and myste- 
rious agony in the garden and on the cross. Faithful- 
ness to the inspired record is not alone the explanation 
of this. The awful conceptions of the Saviour's suffer- 
ings which have from the beginning entered into men's 
thoughts of the atonement, have been so manifestly at 
the foundation of the apprehensions of the divine wrath 
against sin, and the divine mercy towards sinners, which 
the fitith of the atonement has quickened in men, that 
it could not but be felt, that to lower these conceptions 
would be to lessen the power of the atonement on 
human spirits. But the truth is, that however much it 
may be felt that the dignity of the sufferer gave infinite 

CAMPB. 8 



114 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

value to any suflfering to which He submitted, and how- 
ever true it is — ^and it is most true — ^that infinitely less 
than we believe our Saviour to have suffered for us 
would, being hdievingly apprehended by us as expressing 
our preciousness to the heart of Gody inspire in us hope 
towards God; and however much, on the other hand, 
we may feel repelled by that weighing in scales of the 
sufferings of the Son of God, and the sufferings of the 
damned, in which their conceptions of divine justice 
and of the atonement which it demanded, engaged the 
earlier Calvinists, the sufferings of Christ arose so nar 
turally out of what He was, and the relation in which 
He stood to those for whose sins He suffered, that 
though His divine nature might be conceived of as 
giving them weight, however small in themselves, yet, 
to that very divine nature must we refer their awful 
intensity, and, to us, immeasurable amount. The 
necessity which has, as we have seen, been felt alike by 
earUer and later Calvinists, in attempting to specify the 
elements of the Saviour's sufferings, to keep within the 
limits indicated by who and what He was that suffered, 
has obliged them to recognise holiness and hve as what 
in Christ made the sources of pain specified, sources of 
pain to Him; and if the sinfulness of sin, and the 
misery to which it exposed sinners, were painful to 
Christ because of His holiness and love, then must 
they have been painful in proportion to His holiness 
and love. 

But there is a further and a still more important 
thought which these details, on which (in much rever- 
ence of spirit, I believe, and love to Him who was 
their hope) these men of God have ventured, seem to 
me fitted to suggest. What I have felt — and the 
more I consider it, feel the more — ^is, surprise that 
the atoning element in the sufferings pictured, has 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 115 

been to their minds sufferings as sufferings, the pain 
and agony cts pain and agony. It no doubt arose 
out of the conception that the sufferings endured was 
the punishment of our sin, — endured for us by our 
substitute, — ^that the pain present should as pain become 
the prominent object of attention. But my surprise is 
not that, believing the sufferings contemplated to be 
strictly penal — ^a punishment, the pain as pain should 
be the chief object of attention, being indeed that for 
which alone, on this view, a necessity existed; but my 
surprise is, that these sufferings being contemplated as 
an atonement for sin, the holiness and love seen taking 
the form of suffering should not be recognised as the 
atoning elements — the very essence and adequacy of 
the sacrifice for sin presented to our faith. 

President Edwards seems to have put this question 
to himself, "Christ being what He was, how could God, 
when imputing the sins of the elect to Him, lay the 
weight of these sins upon Him and punish Him for 
them, subjecting Him to the infinite suffering which 
was their due?" And he has answered thus: — *^ Christ 
being infinitely holy, Grod was able to cause Him to feel 
the awful weight of the sins of the elect by revealing 
their sins to Him in the spirit — so bringing Him under 
a weight and pressure of these sins to be measured by 
His holiness; — thus God laid the sins of the elect on 
Christ: — and again, Christ loving the elect with a 
perfect love, God was able, — ^by bearing in upon Christ's 
spirit the perfect realisation of what these objects of His 
love were exposed to suffer, — ^to make, through His love 
to them, their conceived-of suffering, real, infinite suf- 
fering to Him." In this way God is represented, not 
only as punishing the innocent for the guilty, but as, in 
doing so, availing Himself of a capacity of enduring pain 
which consisted in the perfection of hoKness and love, 

8—2 



116 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

—pain endured by holiness through being holiness, and 
by love through being love, being represented as the 
punishment inflicted. 

Now, while it is easy to realise that the sin of those 
whom He came to save, and the misery to which 
through sin they were obnoxious, being present to the 
spirit of Christ, these would press upon Him with a 
weight and affect Him with an intensity of suffering, 
proportioned to His hatred to sin and love to sinners ; 
and while in respect of the suffering thus arising, the 
sufferer is seen^to be a sacrifice, — ^and a sacrifice in which 
if we meditate upon it, it seems to me that we may see 
atoning virtue ; — yet it seems to me impossible to con- 
template the agony of holiness and love in the realisation 
of the evil of sin and of the misery of sinners, as penal 
suffering. Let my reader endeavour to realise the 
thought : — ^The sufferer suffers what he suffers jiist 
through seeing sin and sinners with GocPs eyes, and 
feeling in reference to them with Gods heart. Is such 
suffering a punishment ? Is God, in causing such a 
divine experience in humanity, inflicting a punishment? 
There can be but one answer. 

Reflecting on this answer, and seeing it to be impos- 
sible to regard suffering, of which such is the nature, as 
penal, I find myself forced to distinguish between an 
atoning sacrifice for sin and the enduring as a substitute 
the punishment due to sin, — being shut up to the 
conclusion, that while Christ suffered for our sins as an 
atoning sacrifice, what He suffered was not — ^because 
from its nature it could not be — a punishment. I say, 
I find myself shut up to this conclusion, and that I am 
obliged to recognise a distinction between an atonement 
for sin and substituted punishment — ^a distinction, the 
necessity of which might have been expected to force 
itself upon the attention of those who, in endeavouring 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT, 117 

to conceive of Christ's sufferings, have found themselves 
constrained to seek for these in the region of holiness 
and love — divine holiness and divine love, — feeling in 
humanity towards man and man's sin and man's misery 
through sin what in God they eternally feel. 

Reader, permit me to ask you to pause here and 
consider what the question is to which I have led your 
mind. It is not a question as to the fact of an atone^ 
ment for sin. It is not a question as to the amount of 
the sufferings of Christ in making atonement. It is 
not a question as to the elements of these sufferings. 
It is not so even between me and those who believe in 
the imputation of our sin to Christ in the strictest 
sense. Even they introduce no element into His con- 
sciousness which amoimted to His being in His own 
apprehension the personal object of divine wrath. The 
question to which I have led you is this : The sufferings 
of Christ in making His soul an offering for sin being 
what they were, was it the pain as pain, and as a 
penal infliction, or was it the pain as a condition and 
form of holiness and love under the pressure of our 
sin and its consequent misery, that is presented to our 
faith as the essence of the sacrifice and its atoning 
virtue ? 

The distinction on which this question turns appears 
to me all-important in our inquiry into the nature of 
the atonement, and we shall be greatly helped by 
keeping it steadily in view; for my conviction is,, that 
the larger and the more comprehensive of all its 
bearings our thoughts of the atonement become, the 
more clear will it appear to us, that it was the spi- 
ritual essence and nature of the sufferings of Christ, 
and not that these sufferings were penal, which con- 
stituted their value as entering into the atonement 
made by the Son of God when He put away sin by 



118 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

the sacrifice of Himself — making His soul a sacrifice ^ 

for sin — ^through the eternal Spirit offering Himself 
without spot to God. 

It has been in the free consideration of the actual 
elements of the sufferings of Christ as these have 
Been represented by men who had themselves quite 
another conception of the subject, that the important | 

distinction between an atonement for sin^ and sub- I 

stituted punishment, has now been arrived at ; and so, i 

it is in the way of studying the atonement by its own i 

light, and meditation of what it is revealed to have 
been, that I propose to proceed in seeking positive 
conclusions as to its nature, its expiatory virtue, and 
its adequacy to all the ends contemplated. And surely 
this is the right course in order that untested precon- 
ceptions may not mislead us ; for even as to the abstract 
question— "What is an atonement for sin?'' it is surely 
wise to seek its answer in the study of the atonement 
for sin actually made, and revealed to our faith as 
accepted by God. 

But before proceeding thus to consider the atone- 
ment made by Christ for the sins of men by the light 
that shines in itself, there is a ray of light on the nature 
of atonement for sin afforded to us by an incident 
in the history of the children of Israel, which claims 
our attention because of the marked way in which it is 
recorded, viz. the staying of the plague by Phinehas. 

As compared with any other light that the old 
testament Scriptures shed on the subject of atonement, 
this incident has the special importance of not being a 
mere instituted type, but a reality in itself Phinehas 
had no commaud to authorise what he did, or promise 
to proceed upon. That which he did was a spontaneous 
expression of feeUng. But that feeling was so in accord- 
ance with the mind of God, that God acknowledged it 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 119 

by receiving what he did as an atonement. "And the 
Lord spake unto Moses^ saying, Phinehas^ the son of 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my 
wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was 
zealous for my sake (margin, with my zeal) among 
them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my 
jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my 
covenant of peace : and he shall have it, and his seed 
after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood ; 
because he was zealous for his God, and made an atone- 
ment for the children of Israel." Numbers xxv. lo — 
13. Here we see a man turning away the wrath of 
God, and staying the plague which was the manifesta- 
tion of that wrath, by an act of which the essence was, 
condemnation of sin and zeal for the glory of God. 
This act, done in the sight of all Israel, ("zealous for 
my sake among them") was immediately accepted by 
the God of Israel — ^may we not say, in mercy taken hold 
of by the God of Israel ? — as a justification of Himself 
in turning away His wrath from the children of Israel 
— an atonement for the children of Israel. There can 
be no uncertainty as to the atoning element here. It 
was not the mere death of the subjects of the act of 
Phinehas. Had they died by the plague, their death 
would have been no atonement, — the death of the 
twenty-four thousand who so died was none. But the 
moral element in the transaction — ^the mind of Phinehas 
— his zeal for God — his sympathy in God's judgment 
on sin, this was the atonement, this its essence. Surely 
we have here a ray of light shed on the distinction 
between making an atonement for sin and bearing the 
punishment of sin; — nor can we rightly weigh the 
words in which God has put His seal upon the atone- 
ment made by Phinehas, '^Behold, I give unto him my 
covenant of peace: and he shall have it, and his seed 



120 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priestr 
hood/' without feeling, that the contemplation of this 
incident is intended to be a help toward our understand- 
ing of the foundation laid in atonement for the covenant 
of peace, the covenant of the everlasting priesthood, — 
a help which prepares us to find in the moral and 
spiritual elements in the suflferings of Christ, the atoning 
power that was in them ; and to see how, though there 
is nothing of an atoning nature in death, the wages of 
sin — ^not in the death of all who have died since death 
entered the world, nor in all death that may yet be 
endured — ^yet was the death of Christ, who tasted death 
for every man, because of the condemnation of sin in 
His spirit, an atonement for the sin of the whole world. 
When I speak of the light of the atonement itself, 
I mean, the atonement as accomplished ; I do not 
mean the atonement as foretold merely and typically 
prefigured. For, howevey the typical sacrifices of the 
Mosaic institutions intimated the necessity for an atone- 
ment—and in some sense its form, they did not, for 
they could not, reveal its nature. After we have traced 
and recognised the points in which the types prefigured 
the antitype, we have still to inquire and to learn by 
the study of the antitype itself, what the reahty is of 
which such and such things were the shadow. In the 
type all was arbitrary and of mere institution. The 
perfection required in the victim — a perfection accord- 
ing to its own physical nature — had no relation 
whatever to sin, but as the type of that moral and 
spiritual perfection in the antitype, of which sin is the 
negation and the opposite. In no real sense did the 
confession of the sins of the people over the victim, thus 
selected as physically perfect, connect these sins with 
it, or lay them upon it ; for in no real sense could it 
bear them. Therefore, while that confession indicated 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 121 

and foretold the laying of men's sins on Christ, it shed 
no light upon that which these words express, — ^no hght 
either on the capacity for bearing our sins which was 
in Christ because of His moral and His spiritual per- 
fection, or on that reahty of coming under their weight 
which was to be in His consciousness in making His 
soul an oflfering for sin. The shedding of the blood of 
the victim, declared that, without shedding of blood 
was no remission of sins ; but the blood of bulls and of 
goats could not take away sins, and therefore, how 
through the shedding of blood remission of sins would 
be, remained to be learned from the knowledge of that 
blood which really has this virtue. 

It may seem superfluous to insist upon this inade- 
quacy in the type to reveal that which, from the nature 
of things, can only be learned from the antitype. But 
how often have the points of agreement between the 
type and antitype been dwelt upon, as if to see that 
agreement was to understand the atonement, although 
the fullest recognition of that agreement leaves the 
questions still to be answered, — Why must He who is 
to be the atoning sacrifice for sin, be Himself the Holy 
One of God ? How does His being so qualify Him for 
bearing our sins? In what sense could they be, and 
have they been laid upon Him ? Being laid upon Him, 
how is the shedding of His blood an atonement for 
them? How is His moral and ^iritual perfection so 
connected with, and present in His bearing of men's 
sins, and in His tasting death for every man, as that 
'^we have redemption through His blood, even the 
forgiveness of sins," because He, " through the eternal 
Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God"? 

These questions are not answered by tracing the 
points of agreement between the type and the anti- 
type, and therefore the seeming progress made in the 



122 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

understanding of the atonement by such tracing is alto- 
gether illusory ; — and if we are contented to remain in 
the darkness in which it leaves us, we are refusing to 
pass on from the type to the antitype, from the shadow 
to the reaUty. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is 
not upon the coincidence between the type and the 
antitype, but upon that in which they differ, that the 
Apostle insists ;-and the antitype is recognised by him 
as indeed the antitype contemplated, because it is seen 
to have in it that reaUty of atoning eflScacy which was 
not in the type. This comparing and contrasting of 
course impUes, that he who engages in it is in a Hght in 
which he can say what is atoning efficacy. In such 
light he claims to be, equally in judging that the blood 
of Christ can take away sin, as in judging that the 
blood of bulls and of goats could not. Not that the 
Apostle knew beforehand what would be an adequate 
atonement, and so was quahfied to judge of the claims 
of the sacrifice of Christ to that character ; — but that, 
apprehending the atonement made by Christ as it was 
revealed to him, he, in the light of the atonement itself, 
had clear discernment of its adequacy. 

That light of the atonement itself, in which the 
Apostle wrote, pervades the whole argument of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews. But the first principle and 
essence of his reasoning is contained in these verses of 
the tenth chapter, 4 to 10. ''For it is not possible that 
the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin. 
Wherefore when He cometh into the world. He saith. 
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body 
hast thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacri- 
fices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, 
Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of 
me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when He said. 
Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 123 

for sin thou wouldest not/ neither hadst pleasure 
therein^ which are offered by the law; then said He, 
Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away 
the first that He may establish the second. By the 
which wiU we are sanctified, through the offering of 
the body of Jesus Christ once for all." The will of 
God which the Son of God came to do and did, this 
was the essence and substance of the atonement, being 
that in the offering of the body of Christ once for aU 
which both made it acceptable to Him who in burnt 
offerings and sacrifices for sin had had no pleasure, and 
made it fit to ^'sanctify" those whose sin the blood of 
bulls and of goats could not take away. 

Let us then receive these words, *' Lo, I come to do 
thy will, O God," as the great key-word on the subject 
of the atonement. The passage in fiill, as it is in the 
40th Psalm, is, " I delight to do thy will, O my God : 
yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached rights 
eousness in the great congregation. Lo, I have not 
refrained my Ups, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid 
thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared 
thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not con- 
cealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth firom the great 
congregation,'' 7 — 11; and I quote the context of the 
psalm because it brings out so clearly, that the tvill of 
God contemplated is that will which immediately con- 
nects itself in our thoughts with what Grod is, that will, 
the nature and character of which we express when we 
say, "God is good," — or, explaining what we mean by 
good, say, "God is holy, God is true, God is just, God 
is love.'^ This expression of the purpose of the Son of 
God in coming into this world, is therefore coincident 
with His own statement of His work when in the world 
— ^the way, that is, in which He fulfilled that purpose, — 
viz. " I have declared thy name, and will declare it." 



124 THE ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

John xvii. 26. Some have understood the will of 
God here to mean the plan of redemption, and so the 
purpose expressed would be the purpose to execute that 
plan. So tmderstood, of course, the words would throw 
no light on the nature of the atonement, being only the 
declaration of the intention of making it. But the 
mind of the Apostle is manifestly occupied with thcU in 
the work of Christ which caused the shedding of His 
blood to have a virtue which was not in that of bulls 
and goats, which he represents as being the will of 
God done, the mind of God manifested, the name of 
the Father declared by the Son. 

We have therefore to trace out the fulfilment of this 
purpose, Lo, I come to do thy will. In what relation 
to God and to man did it place the Lord as partaking 
in humanity ? — especially, in what relation to men's sins 
and the evils consequent upon sin to which they were 
subject? How did it imply His having all men's sins 
laid upon Him, — His bearing them as an atoning sacri- 
fice, — His being an accepted sacrifice, — His obtaining 
everlasting redemption ? 

It will make our task simpler — in considering Christ's 
doing of the will of God, — if we remember the relation 
of the second commandment to the first, as being "like 
it;" that is to say, that the spirit of sonship in which is 
the perfect fiilfilment of the first commandment, is one 
with the spirit of brotherhood which is the fulfilment of 
the second. Loving the Father with all His heart and 
mind and soul and strength, the Saviour loved His 
brethren as Himself. He, the perfect elder brother, 
unlike the elder brother in the parable, sympathised 
in all the yearnings of the Father's heart over His pro- 
digal brethren; and the love which in the Father 
desired to be able to say of each of them. My son was 
dead, and is alive again ; he was lost, and is found ; in 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 126 

Him equally desired to be able to say, My brother was 
dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. 
President Edwards, in tracing out the fitness and 
suitableness of the mediation of our Lord, dwells upon 
His interest in the glory of God with whom He was 
to intercede, and because of which He could propose 
nothing derogatory to it; and His love to those for 
whom He was to intercede, because of which He felt so 
identified with them that what touched them touched 
Him. There is something which surely commends 
itself ta us in this recognition of love as that which 
identifies the Saviour with those to whom He is a 
Saviour, and this, as Edwards traces it out, both in 
His own consciouness and in the Father's thoughts of 
Him as the mediator. May we not go further and 
say, that as love was thus a fitness for the office, so 
it necessitated the undertaking of the office, moving 
to the exercise of this high function, as well as qualify- 
ing for it? And seeing love to all men as that law of 
love under which Christ was, must we not both wonder 
and regret, that his deeply interesting thoughts in this 
region did not lead Edwards to see, that by the very 
law of the spirit of the life that was in Christ Jesus H^ 
must needs come imder the burden of the sins of all 
men — become the Saviour of all men, and, loving them 
as He loved Himself, seek for them that they should 
partake in His own life in the Father's favour,— that 
eternal life which He had with the Father before the 
world was? 

When God sent His own Son in the likeness of 
sinful flesh to accomplish our redemption, the Apostle 
says He sent Him as *'a sacrifice for sin." (Romans 
viii. 3.) To send Him in the likeness of sinftd flesh 
was to make Him a sacrifice for sin, for it was to lay 
the burden of our sins upon Him. Thus related to us, 



126 THK ATONEMENT TO BE SEEN 

while by love identified with us, the Son of God 
necessarily came under all our burdens, and especially 
our great burden — sin, and this not merely as President 
Edwards represents our sins as being laid upon Christ, 
in that a vivid sense of their evil oppressed His Holy 
Spirit, nor even in that through love to us (as he speaks 
with reference to the elect) the realisation of the misery 
to which we were exposed would give Him pain; but 
that living the life of love in humanity He must needs 
care for all humanity, for all partaking in humanity 
even as for Himself : so being affected by the evil of the 
life of self and enmity in humanity according to His own 
consciousness of the life of love, — and at once con- 
demning that life of self, desiring its destruction, and 
feeUng Himself by love devoted to the work of deUver- 
ing man from it, at whatever cost to Himself. Thus 
moved by love, and in the strength of love, must we 
conceive of the Saviour as taking upon Him all our 
burden, undertaking our cause to do and suffer all that 
was implied in obtaining for us redemption. The love 
that came into humanity had manifested its own nature 
even in coming into humanity — its self-sacrificing na- 
ture — though this we can less understand or measure. 
Being in humanity, it acts according to its own nature, 
and must needs bear our burden and work and suffer 
for our salvation, and this in ways which we who are 
human may understand, and shall understand in the 
measure in which the Ufe of love becomes our life. 

The active outgoing of the self-sacrificing love in 
which the Son of God wrought out our redemption 
presents these two aspects, — ^first, His dealing with 
men on the part of God — and, secondly. His deaUng 
with God on behalf of men. These together consti- 
tute the atonement equally in its retrospective and 
prospective bearing. Therefore it will be necessary to 



BY ITS OWN LIGHT. 127 

contemplate them not only severally — but also, first, 
in reference to our condition as sinners under the con- 
demnation of a broken law, and then in reference to 
the purpose of God to bestow on us the adoption of 
sons. The unity of the life that was in Christ as love 
to God and love to men, — the unity of the ends con- 
templated in His sacrifice of Himself, viz. the glory of 
God and the salvation of men, — the unity also of the 
intermediate results, in that the same work which was 
an adequate ground on which to rest our being taken 
from under the law, making that consistent with the 
honour of the law and the character of the law-giver, 
was .also the adequate preparation for our receiving the 
adoption of sons; this pervading unity, which is "the 
simplicity that is in Christ," will not be veiled by this 
orderly consideration of the different aspects of the 
works of Christ, while it will prepare us for the closer 
consideration of the details of the sacred history, 
at once shedding light on these details and being con- 
firmed by them. 



CHAPTEK VI. 

RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

T^HE atonement considered in its retrospective as- 
-■- pects is — 

I. Christ's dealing with men on the part of God. 

It was in our Lord the natural outcoming of the 
life of love — -of love to the Father and of love to us — 
to shew us the Father, to vindicate the Father's name, 
to witness for the excellence of that will of God against 
which we were rebelling, to witness for the trustworthi- 
ness of that Father's heart in which we were refiising 
to put confidence, to witness for the unchanging charac- 
ter of that love in which there was hope for us, though 
we had destroyed ourselves. 

This witness-bearing for God, and which was accord- 
ing to that word of the Prophet — " I have given him 
for a witness to the people," was accomplished in the 
personal perfection that was in Christ — His manifested 
perfection in humanity — that is to say, the perfection 
of His own following of the Father as a dear child, and 
the perfection of His brotherly love in His walk with 
men. His love and His trust towards His Father, His 
love and His longsuffering towards His brethren — the 
latter being presented to our faith in its oneness with 
the former — were together what He contemplated 
when He said, " He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father." 

This witness-bearing for the Father was a part of 
the self-sacrifice of Christ. The severity of the pres- 
sure of our sins upon the Spirit of Christ was necessarily 
greatly increased through that living contact with the 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 12d 

enmity of the carnal mind to God into which Christ 
was brought, in being to men a living epistle of the 
grace of God. His honouring of the Father caused 
men to dishonour Him, — His manifestation of brotherly 
love was repaid with hatred, — His perfect walk in the 
sight of men failed to commend either His Father or 
Himself, — His professed trust in the Father was cast 
up to Him, not being beUeved, and the bitter complaint 
was wrung from Him — " reproach hath broken my 
heart." 

Not that His task in dotng the Father's will, ^' not 
hiding His righteousness within His heart,'' but *' de* 
daring His faithfulness and His salvation," was alto^ 
gether cheerless : on the contrary, the Man of sorrows 
could speak to the chosen companions ofHis path, those 
who knew Him most nearly, of a peace which they had 
witnessed in Him — nay, of a joy, a peace and a joy as 
to which He could expect that they would receive as the 
intimation of a precious legacy to be told that these 
He would leave with them, — could even expect that 
the prospect of having these abiding with them would 
reconcile them to that tribulation which was to come 
to them through their relation to Him. That which 
He had presented to their faith would not have been a 
true and successftd witnessing for the Father, had this 
not been so ; — it would have been less than that of the 
Psalmist, '' O taste and see that God is good." What* 
ever sorrow may have been seen as borne by the Son 
of Grod in confessing His Father s name in our sinful 
world — ^and this could not have been but in sorrow — » 
yet must a joy deeper than the sorrow have been present, 
as belonging to that oneness with the Father which 
that living confession implied; and to have hidden that 
joy would have been to have marred that confession, — 
leaving imperfect that condemnation of sin which is 

CAMPB. 9 



130 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

by the manifestation of the life that is in God's favour, 
and the shining forth of which in Christ is the light 
of life to man. Therefore the peace, the joy of which 
our Lord speaks as what the disciples had witnessed 
in Him, and what would be recalled to them when He 
used the expressions, '^My peace," "My joy," were 
a most important element in His declaration of the 
Father's name. 

But not less important as an element of that de- 
claration, not less essential to its perfection, were the 
sorrows of the Man of soitows, of which also they were 
the chosen witnesses. It has been said, " If God should 
appear as a man on this sinful earth, how could it be 
but as a man of sorrows ?" The natural outward ex- 
pression of Christ's inward sorrow from the constant 
pressure of our sin and misery on His spirit — a pressure 
under which, as God in our nature, with the mind of God 
in suffering flesh He could not but be — would of itself 
have been enough to justify the appeal to those who 
saw Him nearly, " Look, and see if there be any sorrow 
like unto my sorrow ?" But to the vindication of the 
name of God, and to the condemnation of the sin of 
man, that actual meeting of the eternal love with the 
enmity of the carnal mind, which took place when 
Christ came to men in the Father's name — in the 
fellowship of the Father's love, was necessary ; and, 
therefore, however much it added to Christ's suffer- 
ing as bearing our sins, it was permitted ; and the 
Father ordered the path in which He led the Son so 
as to give full and perfect development and mani- 
festation to the self-sacrificing life of love that was in 
Christ, fulness and perfection to His declaration of 
the Father's name. 

We have been prepared for recognising our Lord's 
honouring of the Father in the sight of men, as an 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 131 

element in the atonement in its retrospective aspect, 
by the power to arrest the course of judgment, and 
stay the plague which expressed the divine wrath, found 
in that outcoming of zeal for God, and sympathy in 
His condemnation of sin, by which Phinehas, the son 
of Eleazar, made atonement for the children of Israel. 
If the principle of the divine procedure in that case 
be recognised, we shall have no difficulty in seeing the 
place which the perfect zeal for the Father's honour, 
the living manifestation of perfect sympathy in the 
Father's condemnation of sin, the perfect vindication 
of the unselfish and righteous character of that con- 
demnation as the mind of Him who is love, which were 
presented to men in the life of Christ, being perfected 
in His death, — we shall, I say, have no difficulty in 
seeing the place which this dealing of Christ with men 
on the p^rt of God has in the work of redemption. 

If we at all reaUse the cost to Christ, we can have 
no difficulty in contemplating as included in the ex- 
pression, " a sacrifice for sin," what Christ endured in 
this witnessing for God. But I am anxious that the 
way in which the sufferings of Christ now before us 
entered into the atonement, and not the fact only that 
they did enter into it, may be distinctly understood, — 
that it was as being necessary to the perfection of 
His witness-bearing for the Father. For, while these 
sufferings have also received a place in the atonement, 
in the systems which have been considered above as 
forms of Calvinism, it has been on the entirely different 
ground that they were a part of what orur Lord endured 
in bearing the punishment of our sins; and I have 
already urged the impossibility of regarding as penal the 
sorrows of holy love endured in realising our sin and 
misery — the impossibility of believing that He who said 
^^ Rivers of water tun down mine eyes, because men 

9—2 



132 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT, 

keep not thy law," could have felt the pain of the holy 
sorrow which caused His tears to flow, to have been 
penal suffering, seeing that that pain was endured in 
sympathy with God, and in the strength of the faith 
of the divine acceptance of that sympathy. 

But apart from the objection to our regarding the 
sufferings of Christ now contemplated as penal, pre- 
sented by the very nature of these sufferings, is there 
any reason to feel, that they would be a more fittmg 
element in the atonement had they been penal, than as 
being, what we know they were, the perfecting of the 
Son's witnessing for the Father ? The distinction be- 
tween perud sufferings endured in meeting a demand of 
divine justice, and sufferings which are themselves the 
expression of the divine mind regarding our sins, and 
a manifestation by the Son of what our sms are to the 
Father's heart, is indeed very broad : and I know that 
the habit of thought which prevails on the subject of 
the atonement is such as will cause minds, under the 
power of that habit, to think it more natural to connect 
remission of sins with sufferings havmg the farmer, 
than with sufferings having the laUer character. But, 
independent of the necessity which the nature of the 
sufferings which we are considering impose upon us to 
refiise to them the former character — while we know 
that they certainly had the latter — is not the habit of 
mind which creates any difficulty here, delusive ? We 
are accustomed to hear it said, that the law which men 
had violated must be honoured, and the sincerity and 
consistency of the lawgiver must be vindicated. But 
what a vindicating of the divine name, and of the cha* 
racter of the lawgiver, are the sufferings now contem- 
plated, considered as themselves the manifestation in 
humanity of what our sins are to God, compared to that 
to which they are reduced if conceived of as a punish- 



f 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 133 

ment inflicted by God! No doubt, even in this view, 
there would remain to us a ray of light in the love that 
is contented to endure the infliction ; but, however pre- 
cious the thought of love willing so to suffer, the full 
revelation of God is not that divine love has been con- 
tented thus to suffer, but that the suffering is the suf- 
fering of divine love suffering from our sins according 
to its own nature; a suffering, therefore, in relation 
to which the sufferer could say, "He that hath seen 
me hath seen the Father." 

II. But Christ's honouring the Father in the sight 
of men, which was His dealing with men on the part 
of God, is only one aspect of His mediatorial work. We 
have to consider also His dealing with God on behalf of 
men. And this, indeed, is the region in which penal 
suffering should meet us, if penal suffering had entered 
into the atonement. We cannot conceive of the Son 
of God as enduring a penal infliction in the very act 
of honouring His Father. But when we contemplate 
Him as approaching God on behalf of man, — when 
we contemplate Him as meeting the divine mind in its 
aspect towards sin and sinners, and as dealing with the 
righteous wrath of God against sin, interposing Himself 
between sinners and the consequences of that righteous 
wrath, — we feel, that here we have come to that which 
men have contemplated when they have conceived of 
Christ as satisfying divine justice in respect of its claim 
for vengeance upon our sins, and that here was the 
place for outcoming of wrath upon the Mediator, and 
penal infliction, if such there had been, — and, as such 
there has not been, that here is the place in which we 
should find that dealing of the Mediator with the divine 
wrath against sin which has had the result which men 
have referred to His assumed bearing of the punishment 
of sin ; and which, being understood, will b^ felt to 



I 



134 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF TUB ATONEMENT, 

meet all that was right, and according to truth, in the 
feelings which men have expressed by the words, '' ap- 
peasing divine wrath," — ^^ expiating the guilt of sin." 

I say, " all that was according to truth in these ex- 
pressions," for there was truth in them, though mingled 
with error — how much error, the separating of the truth 
will best shew. But the wrath of God against sin is 
a reality, however men have erred in their thoughts as 
to how that wrath was to be appeased. Nor is the 
idea that satisfaction was due to divine justice, a delu- 
sion, however far men have wandered from the true 
conception of what would meet its righteous demand. 
And if so, then Christ, in dealing with God on behalf 
of men, must be conceived of as dealing with the 
righteous wrath of God against sin, and according to 
it that which was due: and this would necessarily pre- 
cede His intercession for us. 

It is manifest, if we consider it, that Christ's own 
long-suffering love was the revelation to those who 
should see the Father in the Son, of that forgiving love 
in God to which Christ's intercession for men would be 
addressed ; and so also, I believe, does Christ's own 
condemnation of our sins, and His holy sorrow because 
of them, indicate that dealing with the aspect of the 
divine mind towards sin which prepared the way for 
intercession. 

That oneness of mind with the Father, which to- 
wards man took the form of condemnation of sin, would, 
in the Son's dealing with the Father in relation to our 
sins, take the form of a perfect confession of our sins. 
This confession, as to its own nature, must have been 
a perfect Amen in humanity to the judgment of God on 
the sin of man. Such an Amen was due in the truth 
of things. He who was the Truth could not be in 
humanity and not utter it, — and it was necessarily a first 



( 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 135 

step in dealing with the Father on our behalf. He 
who would intercede for us must begin with confessing 
our sins. This all will at once perceive. But let us 
weigh this confession of our sins by the Son of God in 
humanity. And I do not mean in reference to the 
suffering it implies viewed as suffering. Christ's love 
to the Father, to whom He thus confessed the sin of His 
brethren, — His love to His brethren whose sin He con- 
fessed, — along with that conscious oneness of will with 
the Father in humanity, in the light of which the exceed- 
ing evil of man's alienation from God was realised; these 
must have rendered His confession of our sins before 
the Father a peculiar development of the holy sorrow 
in which He bore the burden of our sins ; and which, 
Uke His sufferings in confessing His Father before men, 
had a severity and intensity of its own. But, apart 
from the question of the suffering present in that con- 
fession of our sins, and the depth of meaning which 
it gives to the expression, " a sacrifice for sin," let us 
consider this Amen from the depths of the humanity 
of Christ to the divine condemnation of sin. What is 
it in relation to God's wrath against sin ? What place 
has it in Christ's dealing with that wrath ? I answer : 
He who so responds to the divine wrath against sin, 
saying, ^^ Thou art righteous, O Lord, who judgest so," 
is necessarily receiving the full apprehension and reali- 
sation of that wrath, as well as of that sin against which 
it comes forth, into His soul and spirit, into the bosom 
of the divine humanity, and, so receiving it. He responds 
to it with a perfect response, — a response from the 
depths of that divine humanity, — and in that perfect 
response He absorbs it For that response has aU the 
elements of a perfect repentance in humanity for all the 
sin of man, — a perfect sorrow — ^a perfect contrition — all 
the elements of such a repentance, and that in absolute 



136 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

perfection, all — excepting the personal consciousness 
of sin, — and by that perfect response in Amen to the 
mind of God in relation to sin is the wrath of God 
rightly met, and that is accorded to divine justice which 
is its due, and could alone satisfy it. 

In contending ^^that sin must be punished with 
an infinite punishment," President Edwards says*, that 
" God could not be just to Himself without this vindica- 
tion, unless there could be such a thing as a repentance, 
humiliation and sorrow for this (viz. sin), proportion- 
able to the greatness of the majesiy despised," — for that 
there must needs be, ^^ either an equivalent punishment 
or an equivalent sorrow and repentance" — " so," he pro- 
ceeds, ^'sin must be punished with an infinite punish- 
ment," thus assuming that the alternative of '^an 
equivalent sorrow and repentance" was out of the 
question. But, upon the assumption of that identifica- 
tion of Himself with those whom He came to save, on 
the part of the Saviour, which is the foundation of 
Edwards's whole system, it may at the least be said, 
that the Mediator had the two alternatives open to 
His choice, — either to endure for sinners an equivalent 
punishment, or to experience in reference to their sin, 
and present to God on their behalf, an adequate sorrow 
and repentance. Either of these courses should be 
regarded by Edwards as equally securing the vindica- 
tion of the majesty and justice of God in pardoning sin. 
But the latter equivalent, which also is surely the 
higher and more excellent, being a moral and spiritual 
satisfaction, was, as we have now seen, of necessity 
present in Christ's dealing with the Father on our 
behalf. Therefore, to contend for the former also 
would be to contend for two equivalents. This of 
course Edwards had no intention of doing. For, 

* ScUisf action far Sin^ Oh. n. 1 — 3. 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 137 

though the thought of that moral and spiritual atone- 
ment which would be presented to God in the adequate 
confession of sin, passed through his mind, he did not 
recognise the presence of this ^'equivalent repentance" 
in the work of Christ. He had set out with the 
assumption that Christ came to bear the punishment 
of our sins, and to work out a righteousness to be im- 
puted to us ; and, as we have seen that the latter part 
of this assumption hindered his so seeing the Father 
in the Son as to recognise that law of love to all men 
which was fulfilled in Christ, as in truth the law of 
God's own being, so here we see that, in consequence 
of the former part of that assumption, it has come to 
pass, that, notwithstanding all his deep and earnest 
study of the work of redemption, and notwithstanding 
his feeling constrained to recognise moral and spiritual 
elements as alone present in the sufferings of Christ, 
the thought of an atonement for sin by an equivalent 
repentance has suggested itself to him only in connex- 
ion with the manifest impossibiUty of such a repentance 
being presented by the sinner himself to God in expi- 
ation of his guilt. And in the connexion in which the 
idea of repentance as an expiation for sin presented 
itself to the mind of Edwards, his conclusion was 
just. A condemnation and confession of sin in hu- 
manity which should be a real Amen to the divine 
condemnation of sin, and commensurate with its evil 
and God's wrath against it, only became possible 
through the incarnation of the Son of God. But the 
incarnation of the Son of God not only made pos- 
sible such a moral and spiritual expiation for sin as 
that of which the thought thus visited the mind of 
Edwards, though passing away without result, but 
indeed caused that it must he. Without the assumption 
of an imputation of our guilt, and in perfect harmony 



138 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMEl^T. 

with the unbroken consciousness of personal separation 
fix>m our sins, the Son of God, bearing us and our sins 
on His heart before the Father, must needs respond to 
the Father's judgment on our sins, with that confession 
of their evil and of the righteousness of the vn:ath of 
God against them, and holy sorrow because of them, 
which were due— due in the truth of things— due on our 
behalf though we could not render it — due from Him 
as in our nature and our true brother — ^what He must 
needs feel in Himself because of the holiness and love 
which were in Him — what He must needs utter to the 
Father in expiation of our sids when He would make 
intercession for us. 

I have said that in approaching the deaUng of 
Christ with God on behalf of men, we approach the 
region in which we should have met penal infliction as 
endured by Christ for our sins, had such infliction 
entered into the atonement; and, as it has not, where 
we should see that, whatever else it was, which has been 
Christ's dealing with God's righteous wrath against 
our sins. What I believe that dealing to have been, 
I have, I trust, expressed with sufficient clearness, — 
while I have laboured more to illustrate the nature of 
this expiation by confession of our sins, than the in- 
tensity of suffering to* the soul of Christ thus made an 
offering for sin, which it involved. 

Yet is it needful that we should, in realising the 
elements of these sufferings, endeavour to reaUse also 
their intensity,— that it was according to the perfection 
of the divine mind in the sufferer, and the capacity of 
suffering which is in suffering flesh. And this medita- 
tion, as T trust the reader will feel, is a very different 
thing from weighing the sufferings of Christ in scales 
against the sufferings of the damned. That belongs to 
the following out of the conception of the Son of God 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT, 130 

suffering the punishment of our sins. But what I con- 
template is the following out of the conception of the 
Son of God suffering in suffering flesh that which is the 
perfect response of the divine holiness and divine love 
in humanity to the aspect of the divine mind in the 
Father towards the sins of men. No thought unworthy 
of the faith that the sufferer is God in our nature, comes 
through exalting our conceptions of the measure of the 
suffering endured on account of sins, when such exalting 
is thus but the raising of our apprehensions of what our 
sin is to the heart of God. 

And I may here refer to what has been urged by 
some as a reason for holding that the sufferings of 
Christ were penal, viz. that otherwise there is no expla- 
nation of the sufferings of one who was without sin, as 
endured under the righteous government of God. Do 
we never see suffering that we must explain on some 
other principle than this? Surely the tears of holy 
sorrow shed over the sins of others— the tears, for 
example, of a godly parent over a prodigal child, are 
not penal, nor, if shed before God in prayer, and ac- 
knowledged in the merciful answer of prayer in God's 
dealing with that prodigal, are they therefore to be 
conceived of as having been penal. But the fact is, 
that the truth that God grieves over our sins, is not so 
soon received into the heart as that God punishes sin, — 
and yet, the faith that He so grieves is infinitely more 
important, as having power to work holiness in us, 
than the faith that He so punishes, however important. 
But there is much less spiritual apprehension necessary 
to the faith that God punishes sin, than to the faith 
that our sins do truly grieve God. Therefore, men 
more easily believe that Christ's sufferings shew how 
God can punish sin, than that these sufferings are the 
divine feelings in relation to sin, made visible to us by 



140 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

being present in suffering flesh. Yet, however the 
former may terrify, the latter alone can purify, because 
the latter alone perfectly reveals, and in revealing vin- 
dicates the name and character of God, condemning 
us in our own eyes, and laying us prostrate in the dust 
because we have sinned against such a God. The 
entrance of sin has been the entrance of sorrow, — ^not 
to the sinful only, and as the punishment of sin, but 
also to the holy and the loving, and as what hoUness 
and love must feel in the presence of sin. That such 
suffering as the suffering of Christ should have existed 
in the universe of God in connexion with innocence 
and hoKness, moral and spu-itual perfection, must, 
indeed, be felt to suggest a solemn question, and one 
which must receive an answer, if we are to be in a con- 
dition to glorify God in contemplating that suffering. 
The answer that it was penal, is precluded by the 
nature of the suffering itself. Yet, that it was for sin, 
is also implied in that very nature, and for the sin of 
others than the sufferer, for He was without sin ; therefore 
was it vicarious, expiatory, an atonement, — an atone- 
ment for sin as distinguished from the punishment of sin. 
And with this distinction, how much light enters 
the mind ! We are now able to realise that the suffer- 
ing we contemplate is divine, while it is human ; and 
that God is revealed in it and not merely in connexion 
with it ; God's righteousness and condemnation of sin, 
being in the suffering, and not merely what demands it, 
— God's love also being in the suffering, and not merely 
what submits to it. Christ's suffering being thus to us 
a form which the divine life in Christ took in connexion 
with the circumstances in which He was placed, and not 
a penal infliction, coming on Him as from without, such 
words as, ''He made His soul an offering for sin" — "He 
put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," — "By Himself 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 141 

He purged our sins," grow full of light ; and the con- 
nexion between whai He is who makes atonement, and 
the atonement which He makes, reveals itself in a 
far other way than as men have spoken of the divinity 
of the Saviour, regarding it either as a strength to 
endure infinite penal suffering, or a dignity to give 
adequacy of value to any measure of penal suffering 
however small. Not in these ways, but in a far other 
way, is the person of Christ brought before us now as 
fixing attention upon the divine mind in humanity as 
that which alone could suffer, and which did suffer 
sufferings of a nature and virtue to purge our sins. By 
the word of His power all dse was accomplished, by 
himself He purged our sins, — by the virtue that is in 
what He is; and thus is the atonement not only what 
was rendered possible by the incarnation, but itself 
a development of the incarnation. 

Luther says, that all sin of man, and the eternal 
righteousness of God, being met in Christ in mutual 
opposition, the one of these must prevail; and it must 
be the righteousness, for it is divine and eternal. His 
conception seems to have been: — sin being there pre- 
sent calling for judgment, and righteousness for life, 
the righteousness, being divine, must triumph. When, 
in explaining this presence of sin, he speaks of the 
consciousness that was in Christ in relation to man's 
sin, as if it were, with reference to all the sin of man, 
identical in nature with what in measure the perfectly 
awakened sinner feels as to his own sin, Luther cer- 
tainly seems to lose the sense of the personal separation 
from sin of that Holy One of God, in whose inner being 
all the sin of humanity was thus realised. And yet I 
venture to think, that he only seems to do so, and that 
his meaning has not been beyond that sense of man's 
sin, and what is due to it, and of the righteousness of 



142 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

God's judgment upon it, of which I have spoken above. 
At all events, the view now taken of the way in which 
the Saviour met and dealt with the Father's wrath 
against sin, may be expressed in language akin to that 
of Luther, and we may say that the divine eternal 
righteousness in Christ used confession of the sinful- 
ness of sin, as the weapon of righteousness in its conflict 
with sin calUng for judgment; and so, that righteous- 
ness prevailed. The divine righteousness in Christ ap- 
pearing on the part of man, and in humanity, met the 
divine righteousness in God condemning man's sin, 
by the true and righteous confession of its sinfulness 
uttered in humanity, and righteousness as in God was 
satisfied, and demanded no more than righteousness as 
in Christ thus presented. 

It might be too bold to assert that this was Luther's 
meaning. But at all events, — ^and this alone is impor- 
tant, — I believe this to be a conception according to 
the truth of things, and that the feelings of the divine 
mind as to sin, being present in humanity and uttering 
themselves to God as a living voice from humanity, 
were the true atonement for the sin of humanity, — the 
'^equivalent sorrow and repentance" of which the idea 
was in the mind of Edwards, though the fact of its 
realisation in Christ he did not recognise. But, though 
Edwards saw not that the equivalent sorrow and re- 
pentance, of which the thought passed before his mind, 
was actually present in these sufferings of Christ which 
he was considering, yet am I thankful that the con- 
ception of such an equivalent as the alternative to 
infinite punishment has been recognised by him. For 
he is the great teacher of a demand for infinite punish- 
ment as implied in the essential and absolute justice of 
God; and, as I have said above, in his dealing with 
absolute justice and righteousness on the subject of the 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 143 

atonement, I have much more sympathy, than with the 
teaching that makes rectoral justice or public justice 
the foundation of its reasoning. For of this I feel 
quite certain, that no really awakened sinner into whose 
spirit the terrors of the Lord have entered, ever thinks 
of rectoral justice, but of absolute justice, and of ab- 
solute justice only. "Against thee, thee only have 
I sinned," is language, in using which the soul is alone 
with God, and thinks not of any other bearing of its 
sin, but its bearing on the individual in relation to God. 

That due repentance for sin, could such repentance 
indeed be, would expiate guilt, there is a strong testi- 
mony in the human heart, and so the first attempt 
at peace with God, is an attempt at repentance, — 
which attempt, indeed, becomes less and less hopeful, 
the longer, and the more earnestly and honestly 
it is persevered in, — but this, not because it comes 
to be felt that a true repentance would be rejected 
even if attained, but because its attainment is de- 
spaired of, — all attempts at it being found, when taken 
to the divine light, and honestly judged in the sight of 
God, to be mere selfish attempts at something that 
promises safety, — not evil, indeed, in so far as they 
are instinctive efforts at self-preservation, but having 
nothing in them of the nature of a true repentance, or 
a godly sorrow for sin^ or pure condemnation of it 
because of its own evil; nothing, in short, that is a 
judging sin and a confessing it in true sympathy with 
the divine judgment upon it. So that the words of 
Whitefield come to be deeply sympathised in, "our 
repentance needeth to be repented of, and our very 
tears to be washed in the blood of Christ." 

That we may fully reaUse what manner of an equi- 
valent to the dishonour done to the law and name of 
God by sin, an adequate repentance and sorrow for sin 



144 BBTROSPBCTIVB ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

must be, and how fer more truly than any penal inflio- 
tion such repentance and confession must satisfy divine 
justice^ let us suppose that all the sin of humanity has 
been committed by one human spirit, on whom is ac- 
cumulated this immeasurable amount of guilt, and let 
us suppose this spirit, loaded with all this guilt, to pass 
out of sin into holiness, and to become filled with the 
light of God, becoming perfectly righteous with God's 
own righteousness, — such a change, were such a change 
possible, would imply in the spirit so changed, a perfect 
condemnation of the past of its own existence, and an 
absolute and perfect repentance, a confession of its sin 
commensurate with its eviL If the sense of personal 
identity remained, it must be so. Now, let us contem- 
plate this repentance with reference to the guilt of such 
a spirit, and the question of pardon for its past sin, and 
admission now to the light of God's favour. Shall this 
repentance be accepted as an atonement, and the past sin 
being thus confessed, shall the divine favour flow out on 
that present perfect righteousness which thus condemns 
the past? or, shall that repentance be declared inade- 
quate ? shall the present perfect righteousness be rejected 
on account of the past sin, so absolutely and perfectly 
repented of? and shall divine justice still demand ade- 
quate punishment for the past sin, and refuse to the 
present righteousness adequate acknowledgment — ^the 
favour which, in respect of its own nature, belongs to 
it? It appears to me impossible to give any but one 
answer to these questions. We feel that such a re- 
pentance as we are supposing would, in such a case, be 
the true and proper satisfaction to offended justice, and 
that there would be more atoning worth in one tear of 
the true and perfect sorrow which the memory of the 
past would awaken in this now holy spirit, than in 
endless ages of penal woe. Now, with the difference 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 145 

of personal identity, the case I have supposed is the 
actual case of Christ, the holy one of God, bearing the 
sins of all men on His spirit — in Luthier's words, "the 
one sinner" — and meeting the cry of these sins for 
judgment, and the wrath due to them, absorbing and 
exhausting that divine wrath in that adequate confession 
and perfect response on the part of man, which was 
possible only to the infinite and eternal righteousness in 
humanity. 

I have said that my hypothetical, and indeed im- 
possible case, and that case which the history of our 
redemption actually presents, diflfer only in respect of 
the personal identity of the guilty and the righteous. 
And, to one looking at the subject with a hasty super- 
ficial glance, this difference may seem to involve all 
the difficulties connected with imputation of guilt and 
substituted punishment. Yet it can only so appear 
to a hasty and superficial glance. For, independent 
of the higher character of the moral atonement sup- 
posed, as compared with the enduring as a substitute a 
penal infliction, this adequate sorrow for the sin of man, 
and adequate confession of its evil implies no fiction — 
no imputation to the sufferer of the guilt of the sin for 
which He suffers ; but only that He has taken the nature, 
and become the brother of those whose sin He confesses 
before the Father, and that He feels concerning their 
sins what, as the holy one of God, and perfectly loving 
God and man. He must feel. 

In contemplating our Lord as yielding up His soul 
to be filled with the sense of the Father's righteous 
condemnation of our sin, and as responding with a per- 
fect Amen to that condemnation, we are tracing what 
was a necessary step in His path as dealing with the 
Father on our behalf. His intercession presupposes 
this expiatory confession, and cannot be conceived of 

CAMPB. 10 



146 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

apart from it. Not only so, — but it is also certain 
that we cannot rightly conceive of this confession, or 
be in the light in which it was made, without seeing 
that the intercession that accompanied it was necessary 
to its completeness, as a full response to the mind of the 
Father towards us and our sins. 

I have endeavoured to present Christ's expiatory 
confession of our sins to the mind of the reader as 
much as possible by itself, and as a distinct object of 
thought, because it most directly corresponds, in the 
place it occupies, to the penal suffering which has been 
assumed; and I have desired to place these two ways 
of meeting the divine wrath against sin, as ascribed to 
the Mediator, in contrast. But the intercession by 
which that confession was followed up, must be taken 
into account as a part of the full response of the mind 
of the Son to the mind of the Father, — a part of that 
utterance in huinanity which propitiated the divine 
mercy by- the righteous way in which it laid hold of 
the hope for man which was in God. **He bare the 
sins of many, and made intercession for the transgress- 
ors." In the light of that true knowledge of the 
heart of the Father in which the Son responded to the 
Father's condemnation of our sins, the nature of that 
condemnation was so understood that His love was at 
liberty, and was encouraged to accompany confession 
by intercession : — not an intercession which contemplated 
effecting a change in the heart of the Father, but a 
confession which combined with acknowledgment of the 
righteousness of the divine wrath against sin, hope for 
man frx>m that love in God which is deeper than that 
wrath, — in truth originating it — determining also its 
nature, and justifying the confidence that, its righteous- 
ness being responded to, and the mind which it expresses 
shared in, that wrath must be appeased. 



( 



RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 147 

Therefore, when we would conceive to ourselves that 
Amen to the mind of the Father in its aspect toward 
us and our sins, which, pervading the humanity of the 
Son of God, made His soul a fit offering for sin, and 
when we would understand how this sacrifice was to 
God a sweet-smelling savour, we must consider not 
only the response which was in that A men to the divine 
condemnation of sin, but also the response which was 
in it to the divine love in its yearnings over us sinners. 
In itself, the intercession of Christ was the perfected 
expression of that forgiveness which He cherished toward 
those who were returning hatred for His love. But it 
was also the form His love must take if He would obtain 
redemption for us. Made under the pressure of the 
perfect sense of the evil of our state, this intercession 
was fiill of the Saviour's peculiar sorrow and suffering 
— a part of the sacrifice of Christ: its power as an 
dement of atonement we must see, if we consider that it 
was the voice of the divine love coming from humanity, 
offering for man a pure intercession according to the 
will of God, offering that prayer for man which was 
alike the utterance of love to God and love to man — 
that prayer which accorded with our need and the 
Father's glory as seen and felt in the light of the 
Eternal love by the Son of God and our Brother. 

We do not understand the divine wrath against sin, 
unless such confession of its evil as we are now con- 
templating is felt to be the true and right meeting of 
that wrath on the part of humanity. We do not un- 
derstand the forgiveness that is in God, unless such 
intercession as we are now contemplating is felt to be 
that which will lay hold of that forgiveness, and draw it 
forth. It was not in us so to confess our own sins; 
neither w^as there in us such knowledge of the heart of 
the Father. B^t, if another could in this act for us, — 

10— e 



148 RETROSPECTIVE ASPECT OV THE ATONEMENT. 

if there might be a mediator, an intercessor, — one at 
once sufficiently one with us, and yet sufficiently sepa- 
rated from our sin to feel in sinless humanity what our 
sinful humanity, could it in sinlessness look back on its 
sins, would feel of Godly condemnation of them and 
sorrow for them, so confessing them before God, — one 
coming sufficiently near to our need of mercy to be able 
to plead for mercy for us according to that need, and at 
the same time, so abiding in the bosom of the Father, 
and in the light of His love and secret of His heart, as, 
in interceding for us to take full and perfect advantage 
of all that is there that is on our side, and wills our sal- 
vation; — if the Son of God has, in the power of love, 
come into the capacity of such mediation in taking our 
nature and becoming our brother, and in that same 
power of love has been contented to suffer all that 
such mediation, accomplished in suffering flesh, implied, 
— ^is not the suitableness and the acceptableness of the 
sacrifice of Christ, when His soul was made an offering 
for sin, what we can understand ? In truth, we cannot 
realise the life of Christ as He moved on this earth in 
the sight of men, and contemplate His witness-bearing 
against sin, and His forgiveness towards sinners, and 
hear the Father say of Him, "This is my beloved Son 
in whom I am well pleased," and yet doubt that that 
mind towards sin and sinners which He thus mani- 
fested, and the Father thus acknowledged, would be 
altogether acceptable, and a sacrifice to God of a sweet- 
smelling savour, in its atoning confession of sin and 
intercession for sinners. 

I know that the adequacy of the atonement to be a 
foundation for the remission of sins cannot be fully 
apprehended, or the righteousness of God in accepting 
it as a sacrifice for sin be fully justified, apart from its. 
prospective reference to the divine purpose of making 



w i » ^i-i ^ ■ ■ ■" ■ - i .w ^i w BWii^aBege^iw^w^gpi^pwgpgBigpgBgwtp— gUPBgeWWgi 



RETROSPlSCTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 149 

US through Christ partakers in eternal life. Yet I will, 
even at this point, express the hope, that the purpose of 
God to extend mercy to sinners being realised, and the 
considerations connected with the name of God and the 
honour of His law, which had to be taken into account, 
being present to the mind, it will be felt, that the 
atonement, as now set forth, was the suitable prepa- 
ration for that contemplated manifestation of mercy; 
and I venture to express this hope here, and thus early, 
because, I am not unwilling that the atonement as now 
represented, and while considered only in its retrospec- 
tive reference, should be compared with the conception 
of the atonement as Christ's bearing, as our substitute, 
the punishment of [our sins,— rthe rather, that that is a 
retrospective conception exclusively. But, I repeat it, 
I feel that it is placing the atonement, as now set forth, 
under a disadvantage as to its power to commend itself 
to the conscience, to look at its retrospective adequacy 
thus apart from its prospective reference: to the con- 
sideration of which I now proceed. 



I 



CHAPTER VII. 

PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT^. 

T HAVE Said above, that the atonement is to be 
-*- regarded as that by which God has bridged over 
the gulf which separated between what sin had made 
us, and what it was the desire of the divine love that 
we should become. Therefore its character must have 
been determined as much by the latter consideration as 
by the former ; and, on this ground, I have complained 
of the extent to which the former consideration, rather 
than the latter, has been taken into account in men's 
recognition of a need be for an atonement. 

Yet an atonement such as they contemplate, and 
consisting in substituted punishment, might allowably 
be so regarded, being like the paying of a pecuniary 
debt, at least as to the definite relation of the payment 
to the debt, the latter determining the former without 
direct reference to the ulterior results involved in the 
debt's being paid. But such an atonement as that 
which the Son of God has actually made, cannot be 
contemplated but as in its very nature pointing forward 
to the divine end in view. 

Accordingly, I have not been able now to enter 
freely upon the subject of that intercession for trans- 
gressors, which the prophet mentions as an element in 
the atonement, because that intercession cannot be 
conceived of as limited to the remission of past sins, 
but must necessarily have had reference to what Christ, 
in His love to us, loving us as He did Himself, 
desired for us. So also the confession of our sin, in 
response to the divine condemnation of it, must, when 
offered to God on our behalf, have contemplated pro- 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 151 

spectively our own participation in that confession as 
an element in our actual redemption from sin. And 
even the witnessing of Christ for the Father in the 
sight of men, as connected with the righteousness of 
God in the extension of the divine mercy to us rebels, 
must have had its place in the atonement, not merdy 
as a light condemning our darkness, but as the intended 
light of life for Us. 

All views of the work of Christ, of course, imply 
that its ultimate reference was prospective. Whether 
conceived of as securing, in virtue of a covenanted 
arrangement the salvation of an election from among 
men, or as furnishing, in reference to all men, a ground 
on which God may extend mercy to them, the work of 
Christ has equally been regarded as what would not 
have been but with a prospective reference. But on 
neither of these views is the justification of God's ac* 
ceptance of the propitiation itself, bound up with the 
question of the results contemplated. On the one view, 
the penal infliction is complete in itself as a substituted 
punishment ; the righteousness wrought out is complete 
in itself as conferring a title to eternal blessedness, 
irrespective of results to be accompUshed in those 
in the covenant of grace. On the other view, a meri- 
torious ground on which to rest justification by faith is 
furnished, which is complete in itself, irrespective of any 
effect which is anticipated from the faith of it. But, 
what I have now been representing as the true view 
of the atonement, is characterised by this, that it takes 
the results contemplated into account in considering 
God's acceptance of the atonement. Not that the 
moral and spiritual excellence of the work of Christ, 
could have been less than infinitely acceptable to God, 
viewed simply in itself; — ^but that its acceptahleness in 
connexion with the remission of sins, is only to be truly 



153 PROSPECTIVB ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

and fully seen in its relation to the result which it has 
contemplated^ viz. our participation in eternal life; — 
or, in other words, that the justification of God in " re- 
deeming," as He has done, '*us who were under the law," 
is only clearly apprehended in the light of the divine 
purpose, *'that we should receive the adoption of sons." 
This direct reference to the end contemplated, 
which distinguishes the view of the atonement now 
taken, as compared with those other systems in which 
that reference is more remote, I lay much weight upon. 
It explains, as they cannot otherwise be explained, 
those expressions in Scripture in which the practical 
end of the atonement is connected so immediately with 
the making of the atonement, — as when it is said, 
that '* Christ gave Himself for us, that He might re- 
deem us firom all iniquity," — that ''we are redeemed 
from the vain conversation received by tradition from 
our Fathers, by the precious blood of Christ," — that 
"Christ suffered for us, the just for the unjust, that 
He might bring us to God." Men have been recon- 
ciled by the seeming necessity of the case to the idea 
that such language is employed, because these are the 
uUimate and reraote consequences of that shedding of 
Christ's blood, which, it is held, immediately contem- 
plated delivering us from the punishment of sin by His 
enduring it for us. But I regard as a great scriptural 
argument in favour of the view now taken of the atone- 
ment, that it represents the connexion between these 
results and Christ's suffering for our sins as not remote, 
but immediate. While, as to the internal commendar 
tion of the doctrine itself, my conviction is, that the 
pardon of sin is seen in its true harmony with the glory 
of God, only when the work of Christ, through which we 
have "the remission of sins that are past," is contem- 
plated in its direct relation to " the gift of eternal life." 



i 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 153 

The elements of atonemeDt^ which have now been 
considered in relation to the remission of sins, contem- 
plated in their relation to the gift of eternal life, teach 
us how to conceive of that gift. The atonement having 
been accomplished by the natural working of the life 
of love in Christ, and having been the result of His 
doing the Father's will, and declaring the Father's name 
in humanity, we are prepared, as to the prospective aspect 
of the atonement, to find that the perfect righteousness 
of the Son of God in humanity is itsdf the gift of God 
to us in Christ — to be ours as Christ is ours, — to be 
partaken in as He is partaken in, — to be our life as He 
is our life, instead of its being, as has been held, ours by 
imputation; — precious to us and our salvation, not in 
respect of what is inherent in it, but in respect of that 
to which it confers a legal title; or, according to the 
modification of this conception, — the transference of 
righteousness by imputation being rejected, — our salva- 
tion in respect of effects of righteousness transferred 
for Christ's sake to those who believe in Him. 

Abstractly considered, and viewed simply in itself, 
the divine righteousness that is in Christ must be 
recognised as a higher gift than any benefit it can be 
supposed to purchase. In the immediate contempla- 
tion of the life of Christ, seen as that on which the 
Father is fixing our attention when He says of Christ, 
" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," 
it cannot be questioned, that the choice being offered, on 
the one hand, to partake in this divine righteousness, 
or, on the other, either to have it imputed to us, and 
on account of such imputation, to have a title to any 
supposed rewards of righteousness, or, to have these 
rewards without such imputation transferred to us, 
there could be no hesitation what choice to make. 
Apart altogether from the diflSculties involved in the 



154 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

conception of the imputation of righteousness, or the 
transference of its effects, it would manifestly be a dis- 
honour done to the divine righteousness, to prefer to 
it any good of any kind external to it, and not inherent 
in itself, but separable from it, which might be con- 
ceived of as its reward. 

I may be reminded, that the reward of righteous- 
ness, thus placed in contrast with the divine righteous- 
ness itself, and assumed to be a lower thing, includes 
spiritual benefits, includes sanctification, and that this 
in effect is a participation in the mind and life of 
Christ, and might be spoken of as substantially right- 
eousness imparted, — the purchase of righteousness im- 
puted, or, according to the modification of the doctrine, 
a part of God's gracious dealing with us on the ground 
of Christ's righteousness; and, however this is a com- 
plication altogether foreign to the simpUcity that is in 
Christ, I thankfully recognise the degree to which the 
elements of righteousness, — all that God delights in, — 
holiness, truth, love, may be the objects of spiritual 
desire, and be welcomed as a part of the unsearchable 
riches of Christ, even in connexion with this system, 
and when not seen simply as the elements of the eternal 
life given to us in Christ our Ufe, and in respect of which 
He is " made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, 
and sanctification, and redemption." 

But, a righteousness imparted as that to which a 
right has been conferred by a righteousness imputed; — 
divine favour and acceptance first resting upon us, 
irrespective of our true spiritual state, and then a 
spiritual state in harmony with that favour, bestowed 
as an expression of that favour; — a right and title to 
heaven made sure, irrespective of a meetness for heaven, 
and then that meetness — the holiness necessary to the 
enjoyment of heaven — bestowed upon us as a part of 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 155 

what we have thus become entitled to, — this is a com- 
plication which the testimony of God, that God has 
given to us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son, 
never could suggest. Its natural effect is to turn the 
mind away, in the first instance at all events, from the 
direct contemplation of eternal life as the salvation 
given in Christ. The elements of that life may come 
to be taken into account afterwards; but the evil effect 
of the first separation between the favour of God and 
the actual condition of the human spirit in its aspect 
towards God, never can be altogether remedied, — while 
this root error will always tend to develope itself in 
reducing the meaning of the words, " eternal life," to the 
conception of an unproved future endless blessedness 
that awaits us as those who trust in Christ's merits, 
not a spiritual state into which we enter in receiving 
the knowledge of God in Christ. Thus confusion and 
perplexity are introduced into the whole subject of 
righteousness and eternal life, when, this life being 
admitted to be given, righteousness is not recognised 
as simply an element in that gift, or rather an aspect 
of it. 

In tracing, in their prospective relation to the gift 
of eternal life, the elements of atonement now con- 
sidered in relation to the remission of sins, we shall find 
the simplicity that is in Christ delivering us from all 
this perplexity, and confusing complication ; while the 
immediate and direct occupation of our spirits with 
eternal life itself as salvation, will favour our intelligent 
apprehension of that gift, and strengthen us in the faith 
that God has given it, and also in the faith of the re- 
mission of our sins as seen in connexion with it, — ^the 
glory of God in the gift of eternal life in His Son, 
shedding back its light on the Father's acceptance of 
the Son when He made His soul an offering for sin. 



156 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

I would recall here the illustration which I have 
offered above, of the conception which I have sought 
to convey of the atoning virtue of Christ's expiatory 
confession of man's sin, viz. the supposition that all the 
sin of man had been committed by one human spirit, 
and that that spirit, preserving its personal identity, 
and retaining the memory of what it had been, should 
become perfectly righteous. Had such a case been 
possible, how would the righteous God deal with such 
a spirit ? In the language of Luther, sin and righteous- 
ness being thus met in one person, which would prevail ? 
Would the absolute repentance and sorrow for the past 
sin, which is necessarily implied in the present right- 
eousness, be an atonement for that past sin, and leave 
the righteous God free to receive that present right- 
eousness with the favour due to it, or would justice still 
call for vengeance ? This would be a perplexing dilemma, 
on the assumption of the correctness of the theory of 
divine justice that represents that attribute of God as 
a necessity of the divine nature which necessitates the 
giving to every spirit that which is righteously due to it, 
— which, in this case, would imply the necessity both 
to punish the past sin and reward the present righteous- 
ness, and this for ever — an impossible combination. 
The great advocate of that theory has, however, as 
we have ^een, recognised a principle which would ex- 
tricate him from this dilemma, when he recognises as 
alternatives an infinite punishment, or an adequate 
repentance; and he therefore would have consented to 
the answer assumed above to be clearly the right answer 
in the case supposed. 

I go back on this illustration, because, while stating 
it formerly, I felt embarrassed, so far as the supposition 
was one of present righteousness as well as of past sin. 
In order to the completeness of the parallel between 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 157 

the hypothetical case and the constitution of things 
in Christ which the Gospel reveals, Christ's confession 
of our sin must be seen in connexion with our relation 
to the righteousness of Christ, and the sin confessed, 
and the righteousness in which it is confessed, be seen 
as if they were in the same person — being both in 
humanity; though the sin really exists only in hu- 
manity as in us, and used in rebellion by us rebels, 
and the righteousness only in humanity as in Christ, 
"who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without 
spot to God." But the glory of God in this constitution 
of things, is only seen when the gift of eternal life to 
man, in the Son of God, is understood ; — and this gift 
we had not then before our minds. 

I admitted, in representing Christ's confession of 
our sin as accounted of to us, that I might, on a super- 
ficial view, seem to be stating what was open to the 
same objections that I have recognised as vaUd against 
the doctrine of penal infliction endured by Christ as 
bearing our sin by imputation; and I offered, in reply, 
the broad distinction between a state of mind in Christ 
which imphed no legal fiction, no relation to our sins 
but what was necessarily the result of His being in our 
nature in the Ufe of love, — a mind which, call it an 
atoning confession of our sin, or riot, was most certainly 
a confession of our sins which must have been present 
in His intercession for us, — the broad distinction between 
this and the infliction on Christ, by the Father, of penal 
suffering, because, by imputation. He w^as accounted 
guilty of our sins. This distinction, if clearly before 
the mind, is too palpable not to satisfy. But, still, that 
identifying of Christ with us, and that giving to us, so 
to speak, the benefit of what He was in humanity, 
which is implied in representing His confession of our 
sins as an element in the atonement, is not, as I have 



158 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

now said, folly justified to the mind, apart from that 
forther identifying of Christ with us through which 
His righteousness is ours. 

Yet, thus to speak of Christ's righteousness, will as 
readily recall the doctrine of imputation of righteousness, 
as the place given to Christ's confession of our sins 
might that of imputation of sin. How wide apart the 
two conceptions are, and what the true vindication of 
the divine counsel in this dealing of the Father with 
Christ, as with the one man who bears the weight of 
all men's sins upon His spirit, atoning for them by 
confessing them before the Father in a divine righteous- 
ness in humanity, which the Father receives on behalf 
of all men as the righteousness of humanity; this we 
shall understand in the light of the relation of the 
atonement to the gift of eternal life. 

When we consider humanity in the light shed upon 
it by the life of Christ in humanity, we see together 
revealed to us the great evil of its condition as possessed 
by us sinners, and its great capacity of good as that 
capacity is brought out by the Son of God. Now, this 
is not the same thing with seeing the same person first 
sinful and then righteous ; nor is the problem which 
it presents the same exactly, as in that hypothetical 
case : — but, still, what we are thus contemplating in- 
volves a closely analogous question for the determination 
of the righteous Lord who loveth righteousness. As 
the dishonour done to God in humanity cries out 
against it, so does the honour done to God plead in 
its favour, — not in the way, certainly, of an off-set in 
respect of which the honour may cover over, gild over, 
the dishonour, — and so humanity be regarded with ac- 
ceptance as one whole; not thus, — although the honour 
be divine as well as human, while the dishonour is 
simply human, — but not thus, but as the revelation i 

i 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 159 

of an inestimable preciousness that was hidden in hu- 
manity, hidden from the inheritors of humanity them- 
selves, but not hid from God, and now brought forth 
into manifestation by the Son of God. For the revealer 
of the Father is also the revealer of man, who was 
made in God's image. 

This high capacity of good pertaining to humanity, 
is not indeed to be contemplated as belonging to us 
apart from our relation to the Son of God. For though 
in one sense it is quite correct to speak of the right- 
eousness of Christ as the revelation of the capacity of 
righteousness that was in humanity, a capacity that 
remained to man although hidden under sin ; — in truth, 
humanity had this capacity only relatively, that is, 
as dwelt in by the Son of God, — and therefore, there 
was in the righteousness of Christ in humanity no 
promise for humanity apart from the Son of God's 
having power over all flesh to impart eternal life. We 
cannot, therefore, see hope for man in the righteous- 
ness of Christ, apart from the contemplation of this 
power as possessed by Christ. Therefore, there must be 
a relation between the Son of God and the sons of 
men, not according to the flesh only, but also accord- 
ing to the spirit, — the second Adam must be a quicken- 
ing spirit, and the head of every man be Christ. But 
if we see this double relation as subsisting between 
Christ and men, if we see Him as the Lord of their 
spirits, as well as a partaker in their flesh, — that air 
of legal fiction, which, in contemplating the atonement, 
attaches to our identification with Christ and Christ's 
identification with us, so long as this is contemplated 
as matter of external arrangement, will pass away, 
and the depth and reality of the bonds which connect 
the Saviour and the saved will bear the weight of 
this identification, and fully justify to the enlightened 



160 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

conscieDce that constitution of things in which Christ's 
confession of our sins expiates them^ and Christ's right- 
eousness in humanity clothes us with its own interest 
in the sight of God : for thus, that divine righteousness 
of the Son of God is seen as necessarily shedding on 
the mind of the Father its own glory and its own pre- 
ciousness over all humanity, — ^but in a way as remote 
from the imputation of righteousness as is Christ's bear- 
ing our sins, as this has now been illustrated, and con- 
fessing them, is from imputation to Him of our sins. 

And this, indeed, is infinitely far ; and yet, some 
vague feeHng, corresponding to this truth of things,— 
some vague feeUng of the standing which the human 
spirit needs to find in another than itself — not having 
it in itself — and which God has given to men in Christ, 
has been present, working in men's minds, and com- 
mending to them the system of imputation with all its 
moral repulsiveness and intellectual contradiction ; — in- 
somuch that one truly knowing his own dependance on 
Christ, feels more sympathy and unity with those who 
in the spirit cherish that dependance,— though conceiv- 
ing of it intellectually in the erroneous form which it has 
in the system of imputation, — than with those whose 
sense of the moral and intellectual objectionableness of 
that system, is connected with the taking of a standing 
of independent self-righteousness before God. For, as 
to all whose trust is truly in Christ, and in the Father's 
dehght in Him, spiritually apprehended, I am assured 
that, however I may seem to them — as to many such I 
shall seem, — ^touching the apple of their eye, — I am not 
touching that which is their life. 

I proceed to consider, in relation to the gift of eter- 
nal life, the two aspects in which we are contemplating 
the life of love in the Son of God, in His making His 
soul an offering for sin. 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 161 

I. The atonement by which Phinehas stayed the 
plague, prepared us for recognising the vindication of 
the divine righteousness in the Son's honouring the 
Father in the sight of man as a necessary step in the 
manifestation of mercy, and we see a true element of 
propitiation for the sin of man in Christ's glorifying 
God in humanity. Yet, in studying the manner of 
Christ's witnessing for the Father, we have the con- 
viction continually impressed upon us, that this reveal- 
ing of the Father by the presentation to us of the life 
of sonship has as its object our participation in that life 
of sonship, and so our participation in that knowledge 
and enjoyment of the Father, and that inheriting of 
the Father as the Father, which fellowship in the life 
of sonship can alone bring. 

Let us mark how immediate was the relation of 
this hope for man to what Christ was suffering in mak- 
ing His soul an offering for sin. He knew that that 
life of love which was then in Him a light condemning 
the darkness from which He was suffering, was yet to 
overcome that darkness and take its place. His own 
consciousness in humanity witnessed within Him that 
humanity was capable of being filled with the life of 
love. The more perfectly He realised that these were 
His brethren whose hatred was coming forth against 
Him, the more did He realise also that hatred was not 
of the essence of their being, — that there was hope in 
giving Himself for them to redeem them from iniquity, 
— ^that there was hope in suffering for them the just for 
the unjust — hope that He would bring them to God. 
How manifestly has the joy of this hope underlain all 
His sorrow! It was, indeed, the joy that was set 
before Him, for which He endured the cross, despising 
the shame. He bore the contradiction of sinners 
against Himself, not only in the meekness and patience 

CAMPB. 1 1 



162 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

of love, and the unselfishness of love, which was more 
deeply grieved that they should offend, than that itself 
was offended against; but also, in the prophetic faith 
of love that looked forward to yet becoming itself the 
life of those who now rejected it. There is hope for 
the future, as well as deep sadness because of the pre- 
sent, in the words, "O righteous Father, the world 
hath not known thee, but I have known thee." If 
the world could continue to be the world after coming 
to know the Father, there would have been no hope 
for the world. But, in the consciousness of being in a 
light in which the world was not was there hope to 
His heart for the world,— therefore did He pray on the 
cross, and when the enmity had manifested itself to the 
utmost, "Father, forgive them; for they know not 
what they do." 

I know we more frequently refer to these words, 
as the precious record of the perfection of that forgive- 
ness of his enemies, which was in Him, who, by His 
life and death, as by His precepts, has taught us to 
forgive our enemies, to love them, to pray for them, — ' 
and in this view the record is precious. But, there is 
important light in the footing on which He puts His 
prayer for forgiveness to them, viz. "for they know 
not what they do." Had the full power of light been 
expended on them, and without result, there would 
have been no room to pray for them, because there 
would have been no possibility of answering the prayer. 
But, let us thankftdly hear Him who knew what is in 
man, thus praying ; and let us mark how to the close 
He was sustained in making His soul an offering for 
sin, by the consciousness in His own humanity of a 
knowledge of the Father which, being partaken in, had 
power to redeem humanity. "I have declared thy 
name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 163 

hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them." I do 
not forget the words, "now they have no cloak for 
their sin,'' — " now they have seen and hated both me 
and my Father." But, however great the measure of 
light thus recognised as received and abused, and 
bringing condemnation, the possibility of a Ught be- 
yond it is clearly implied in the words which I have 
been quoting. These evil men were of the world, of 
which He says to the Father, that it hath not known 
Him. They were included in the prayer, "Father, 
forgive them ; for they know not what they do." And 
so the apostle John teaches, " He that saith he is in 
the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even 
until now. — He that hateth his brother, is in darkness, 
and walheth in darkness^ and knoweth not whither he 
goeth, hecause that darkness hath blinded his eyes" This 
our Lord knew, and He knew also, that He had come 
a light into the world, that he that should beUeve in 
Him should not abide in darkness, but should have the 
light of eternal life. The sad, sorrowful work of being 
a light condemning the darkness, was therefore cheered 
by the consciousness of not only being light in Him- 
self, but, " the light of the world," that is, a light for 
men, a light which His own human consciousness ever 
testified to be a light for men. 

Therefore was the consciousness of having glorified 
the Father on the earth, the foundation of the prayer, 
that the Father would glorify Him in the exercise of 
the power over all flesh to give eternal life to as many 
as the Father should give to Him, — to all who, having 
heard and been taught of the Father, should come to 
the Son; and we know that while walking in His 
sorrowful path, with the hope of being the channel of 
eternal life to those for whose sins He was making 
atonement, the comfort was granted to Him of being 

11—2 



164 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

able to say of some, that the light that was in Him 
had in some measure been received by them ; that in a 
true sense, however small the measure, they " were not 
of the world, even as He was not of the world ;" that 
His revealing of the Father by being in their sight the 
Son honouring the Father, had not been in vain ; that, 
at least, it had quickened so much life in them as in 
Philip could say, " Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth 
us;" that in truth, though they so little understood 
what His living ministry of love had accomplished in 
their spirits as not to understand Him when He bare 
testimony to it, still, a great result had been accom- 
plished, for that He could say, "Whither I go ye know, 
and the way ye know," though they themselves were 
so little aware of this as to rejoin, '' Lord, we know not 
whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" 

Thus, a measure of present comfort of the nature 
of the joy set before Him, was granted to our 
Lord even in the time of His making His soul an 
offering for sin. Thus are we to conceive of Him as 
contented to be through suffering made perfect as the 
Captain of our salvation, — ^welcoming aU by which He 
was receiving fitness to be to us the channel of eternal 
life. " For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also 
might be sanctified through the truth." For, He wel- 
comed that ordering of His path by the Father, which 
had reference to the development of the life of love 
that was in Him, according to all the teed of man; 
not withholding His face from shame and spitting, when 
opening His ear as the learner, that in Him we might 
have aU the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; though 
a Son, yet learning obedience by the things which He 
suffered, that being made perfect. He might become 
the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him ; 
submitting to be tempted in all points as we are 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 165 

tempted, that, sinlessly passing through such trial, He 
might be able, as our high priest, to succour us when 
we are tempted. In all ways of manifestation of the 
life of sonship, and at all cost to Himself, He declared 
the Father's name in life and in death, that the love 
wherewith the Father had loved Him might be in us 
and He in us. 

It is certain that the atonement has its right interest 
to us, and quickens in us the hope which it has been 
intended to quicken, only when that interest and that 
hope are one as to nature and foundation with what 
were present in the mind of Christ in making the atone- 
ment. We must be in the light of His honouring of 
His Father's name in all that He presented in himianity 
to the faith and spiritual vision of men. And this 
honouring was not only universal as to the outward 
form of his life, but went to the depth of the inner man 
of the heart, to the full extent of making His life in 
humanity a "serving of the living God." "I do no- 
thing of myself : as I hear, I judge," — " My works are 
not mine, but His that sent me," — "The Father who 
dwelleth in me. He doeth the works," — "My Father 
worketh hitherto, and I work," — "The Son doeth 
nothing of Himself; but whatsoever the Father doeth, 
the same doeth the Son likewise," — " Why callest thou 
me good? there is none good but one, that is God.^' 
So deep was the honouring of the Father in humanity 
by the Son,, when "through the Eternal Spirit He 
offered Himself without spot to God." 

Nor is it by what He presented in Himself as under 
His Father s guidance alone, that the Son of God re- 
veals to us the Father. He vindicates the name of the 
Father, and condemns our sin as rebellious children, by 
all that we see the Father to be to Him through His 
following God as a dear child walking in love. I have, 



166 PBOSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

in this view, noticed above the place which our Lord's 
*' peace'' and "joy," of which He speaks to the disciples 
as known to them, had in His witnessing for the Fa- 
ther : for, indeed, the Son would have been an imperfect 
witness for the Father if He was not, by those who saw 
Him truly, seen to have peace and joy in the Father, — 
a peace and a joy to which often an imclouded expres- 
sion would be permitted, — but which would abide in 
His spirit, however His sorrows from all else might 
abound; and in respect of which all such sorrows^ 
though they might be what would justify the appeal, 
" Look, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my 
sorrow," would be but the trial of fiiith, and the more 
abundant manifestation of what the Father was to the 
Son. Now, as to all by which the Son thus honoured 
the Father, we are to see that it all entered into His 
hope for us in His making Btts soul an offering for sin, 
because it was in humanity that He was having aU this 
experience. 

I have said above that we are to understand that 
He who is the revealer of God to man is also the re- 
vealer of man to Himself. Apart from Christ we know 
not our God, and apart fix)m Christ we know not our- 
selves: as, indeed, it is also true, that we are as slow 
to apprehend and to welcome the one revelation as the 
other, — as slow to see man in Christ, as to see God in 
Christ. We have seen how much loss even earnest, 
and deep thinking, and holy men have suffered through 
not looking upon the Ufe of love in Christ as the reve- 
lation of the Father; — ^how it has thus come to pass 
that, looking upon Christ's love to men merely as the 
fulfilment for man of the law under which man was, 
they have dwelt on that fulfilment, and enlarged on the 
circumstances which prove how perfect it was, and yet 
have not read the heart of God — the love of God to all 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 167 

men, in that record of the life of Christ which they 
were studying. And so also, these same men, through 
the assumption that in the life of Christ they were con- 
templating the working out of a legal righteousness for 
man, to be his by imputation, as they were turned away 
from seeing God in Christ, so have also been turned 
away from seeing man in Christ, seeing themselves in 
Christ, seeing the capacities of their own being in 
Christ. Not for His own sake but for our sakes did 
the Son of God reveal the hidden capacity of good that 
is in man by putting forth in humanity the power of 
the law of the Spirit of His own life — the life of son- 
ship. " For what the law could not do, in that it was 
weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in 
the likeness of sinful flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, 
condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of 
the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the spirit." We, then, for whose sake 
this has been, must learn to see in this revelation of 
what humanity is when pervaded with the life of son- 
ship, that redemption of which we were capable, and 
which we have in Christ, and set ourselves to the study 
of the twofold discovery of God and of man in Christ, 
with the conviction that in it are hid for us all the 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge, 

I have said above that the Son alone could reveal 
the Father — for, indeed, manifested sonship can alone 
reveal fatherliness, being that in which the desire of 
that fatherliness is fulfilled, — ^which therefore reveals 
that desire by fulfilling it. Thus are we to understand 
the voice of the Father saying of the Son, " This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased " — ^which voice, 
when heard in our hearts, is that drawing of the Father 
through which we come to the Son. And in this light 
are we to receive the words, "hear ye Him," which 



168 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT, 

declare the purpose of that drawing. For we are called 
to hear the Son that we may know the Father through 
knowing the Son in whom He is well pleased, and so 
may know what is the Father's desire as to ourselves, 
and what He has given to us in the Son, that that 
desire of His heart for us may be fulfOled in us. Let 
the reader examine his own heart as to the measure in 
which this is the ground of the interest vnth which he 
regards the divine righteousness in humanity, and the 
Father's testimony to the Son. For, assuredly, it ought 
to be so; and we ought to be jealous of every thought 
and view that divides attention vnth the gift of eternal 
life — -jealous of our going oiU of the circle of the life 
that is in Christ in search of the unsearchable riches 
which we have in Christ; above all, jealous of occupy- 
ing our imagination with an unknown future blessed- 
ness, to be bestowed on us for Christ's sake, instead of 
keeping to what is included in Christ, in the mind 
revealed in Christ, and so is addressed to the will in 
man, as what we are to partake in in yielding our will 
to be guided by the law of the Spirit of the life that is 
in Christ — ^the life of sonship : which is in itself riches, 
unsearchable infinite riches, because it, and it alone, 
enjoys the Father as the Father, making us heirs of 
God, — theirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. 

One has spoken of difficulty in joining, in anticipa- 
tion, "himself and glory in one thought." The greater 
difficulty is to join ourselves and eternal life in one 
thought now, — although God has already in Christ so 
connected us in the very truth of things. But, as I 
have said, we are alike slow of heart to receive Christ's 
revelation of ourselves, and to receive His revelation of 
God, — to believe that God has given to us eternal life 
in His Son, and to believe that God is love. 

I know, indeed, that the difficulty felt in believing 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 169 

that our humanity and its capacity of good in respect 
of the eternal life which we have in Christ, is what the 
life of Christ reveals it to be, — ^is what we are tempted 
to excuse on the ground of the felt sinfulness of our 
own nature. Yet, is not the deepest knowledge of that 
sinfulness expressed in the verses just before those in 
which the Apostle recognises the power of the law of 
the Spirit of the life that is in Christ to make us free 
from the law of sin and death? Has, in this matter, 
experimental knowledge ever gone further than what 
the words express, — *'I find a law in my members 
warringlagainst the law of my mind, and bringing me 
into captivity to the law of sin that is in my members. 
O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from 
the body of this death?" This was the question, and 
this the state of mind in relation to which the know- 
ledge of the power of the life of sonship in humanity 
moved the Apostle to thank God through Jesus Christ. 
We know not the truth of humanity, — we know only 
its perversion while we are living the life of self and 
enmity, and are as gods to ourselves. What it is to be 
a man, what we possess in humanity, we never know 
until we see humanity in Him who through the eternal 
Spirit oflfered Himself without spot to God. 

Let us understand it. The difficulty of believing 
the revelation of man that is in Christ, and the diffi- 
culty of believing the revelation of God that is in 
Christ, is one difficulty. To beheve that God is love, 
as this is revealed by His manifestation of love to t^s, 
is to believe that love, as ascribed to God in relation 
to man, means, that desire for man which is fulfilled in 
the humanity of Christ, and can in that alone be satis- 
fied. Therefore, those general conceptions of the divine 
mercy and benevolence which are formed when God is 
contemplated only as so feeling for our misery and 



170 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

desiring our happiness as that He gave Christ to die 
for us that we might be saved from misery and partake 
in everlasting bliss, however they are true conceptions 
so far as they go, come altogether shoii; of the love of 
God to us in Christ Jesus. For the element of father- 
liness is wanting — what it craves for — what alone can 
satisfy it. But on fatherliness, as ascribed to God, is 
the attention kept continually fixed in the gospel. That 
God has a Father's heart, may not, indeed, be admitted 
as a proof that the capacity of sonship has remained to 
us. But, at least, the manifestation of that fatherli- 
ness by the Son as the light of life to ils does prove it. 

Let us not think of Christ, therefore, simply as re- 
vealing how kind and compassionate God is, and how 
forgiving to our sins, as those who have broken His 
righteous law. Let us think of Christ as the Son who 
reveals the Father, that we may know the Father's 
heart against which we have sinned, that we may see 
how sin, in making us godless, has made us as orphans, 
and understand that the grace of God, which is at once 
the remission of past sin, and the gift of eternal life, 
restores to our orphan spirits their Father, and to the 
Father of spirits His lost children. 

I have dwelt above on the difference between a 
filial standing and a legal standing. I have spoken 
also of what Christ's being our example in the life of 
faith implies as to the footing on which we are to draw 
near to God, and the nature of the confidence which 
Christ desires to quicken in us. Yet I feel it necessary 
thus to insist upon the faith of the sonship in hu- 
manity, which is revealed in Christ, as the necessary 
supplement and complement of the faith of the father- 
liness, revealed to be in God : and I must often recur to 
this because, in truth, my hope of helping any out of 
the perplexities and confusions which I feel to prevail on 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 171 

the subjects of justification and sanctification, is simply 
the hope of helping them to see the contradiction 
between coming to God in the spirit of sonship, with 
the confidence which the faith of the Father's heart 
sustains, and coming to God with a legal confidence as 
righteous in His sight, because clothed with a legal 
righteousness, or at least accepted on the ground of 
such a righteousness. 

In^ speaking of that which he had come to ex- 
perience through knowledge of the eternal life which 
was with the Father and was manifested in the Son — 
that experience into the fellowship of which he desired 
to bring others, the Apostle says, ''And truly our 
fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus 
Christ." "' Father" and "Son" here do more than 
indicate persons: they indicate that in these persons 
with which the fellowship is experienced. Eternal life 
is to the Apostle a light in which the mind of fatherli- 
nes^in the Father, and the mind of sonship in the Son, 
are apprehended and rejoiced in. This tea^hmg as to 
the nature of salvation is the same which we receive 
from the Lord Himself when He says, "This is eternal 
life, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ 
whom thou hast sent;" as also when He says, "If a 
man love me, he will keep my words : and my Father 
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make 
our abode with him." 

Let the reader think of this, and take his own ex- 
perience to this light. To me it appears, that the 
temptation to stop short of the light that shines to us 
in the communion of the Son with the Father in hu- 
manity is strong, and greatly prevails. But this light 
is the very light of life to us; for this communion is 
the gift of the Father to us in the Son. In the ex- 
perience of this communion in our nature and as our 



172 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

btother, did our Lord look forward to our partaking in 
it as what would be our salvation. The seventeenth 
chapter of the Gospel of John most fully declares this. 
Indeed the evidence abounds that it was this which 
was ever in the contemplation of Christ in glorifying 
the Father on the earth; while of anything like the 
consciousness of being working out a righteousness 
to be imputed to men to give them a legal ground of 
confidence towards God there is no trace. 

I have already referred to President Edwards's legal 
representation of the righteousness of Christ, assumed to 
be imputed in faith, as perfected in His obedience unto 
death, and that of which God manifested His accept- 
ance when He raised Christ from the dead. But the 
testimony to the Saviour was deeper and higher. 
Christ was declared to he the Son of God by the resur- 
rection from the dead. The righteousness then acknow- 
ledged was none other than what the Father had 
previously borne testimony to when He said, " This is 
my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; " — on the 
sonship, the life of sonship that was in Christ, was 
attention thus fixed, and not on the legal perfection of 
the righteousness which it fulfilled. How then can we 
think of the Father's testimony to the Son as other 
than a commending of sonship to us, or think of the 
Father's delight in the Son otherwise than as what 
justifies His imparting the life of sonship to us ? 

Let us in this light regard Christ's being deUvered 
for our offences, and raised again for our justification. 
The offences for which He made expiation were ours, — 
that expiation being the due atonement for the sin of 
man — accepted on behalf of all men. His righteous- 
ness, declared in His resurrection from the dead, is ours 
— the proper righteousness for man, and in Him given 
to all men : and that righteousness is not the past fact 



f 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 173 

of legal ohligation discharged, but the mind of sonship 
towards the Father; for in the beloved Son is the 
Father seen to be well pleased, and in our being 
through Him to the Father dear children will it come 
to pass that the Father will be well pleased in us. 

II. All that we thus learn as to the prospective 
reference of the atonement in considering Christ's own 
manifested life in humanity as His witnessing for the 
Father to men, is confirmed, and further light shed 
upon it, when we consider with the same prospective 
reference the atonement as the Son's dealing with the 
Father on our behalf. 

We cannot conceive of our Lord's dealing with 
the Father on our behalf without passing on to its 
prospective reference. We could not formerly speak 
freely of that intercession for sinners which the Pro- 
phet has conjoined with His bearing of their sins, 
because that intercession could not be conceived of as 
stopping short of the prayer for our participation in 
eternal life, to which the expiatory confession of our 
sins, and prayer for the pardon of our sins necessarily 
led forward, and in connexion with which alone they 
could have existed. We now approach the subject of 
this dealing of Christ with the Father in the light of 
Christ's own perfection in humanity, and connect His 
laying hold of the hope for man which was in God 
with the Father's testimony that He was well pleased 
in the Son. What we have thought of Christ as 
necessarily desiring for us, was the fellowship of what 
He Himself was in humanity. This, therefore, was 
that which He would ask for us; and we can now 
understand that He would do so with a confidence 
connected with His own consciousness that in humanity 
He abode in His Father's love and in the light of His 
countenance. Thus would His own righteousness be 



174 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

presented along with the confession of our sins when 
He asked for us remission of sins and eternal life. 

A.nd this is the right conception of Christ pleading 
His own merits on our behalf. Our capacity of that 
which He asked for us was so impUed in these merits, 
and the Father's deUght in these merits so implied His 
delight in their reproduction in us^ that the prayer 
which proceeds on these grounds is manifestly accord- 
ing to the will of the Father — ^to offer it is a part of the 
doing of the Father's will — ^to offer it in the faith and 
hope of an answer is a part of the trust in the Father 
by which He declared the Father's name, and is to be 
contemplated as completing that response to the mind 
of the Father towards us in our sin and misery, which 
was present but in part in the retrospective confession 
of our sin. 

And these-the confession and the intercession— so 
harmonise, are so truly each the complement of the 
other, that we feel in passing from the one to the other 
our faith in the Father's acceptance of each confirmed 
by seeing it in connexion with the other; that is to 
say, we more easily beUeve in the Father's acceptance 
of Christ's expiatory confession of our sins when we see 
that confession as contemplating our yet living to God 
— our partaking in eternal life ; and we more easily 
believe in the gift of eternal life to those who have 
sinned, when we see it in connexion with that due and 
perfect expiation for their past sin. 

It is in the dealing of the Son with the Father on 
our behalf, thus in all its aspects before us, that the full 
light of the atonement shines to us. In the life of 
Christ, as the revelation of the Father by the Son, we 
see the love of God to man — the wiU of God for man — 
the eternal life which the Father has given to us in the 
Son — that salvation which the gospel reveals as the 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 175 

Apostle knew it when he invited men to the fellowship 
of it as fellowship with the Father and with His Son 
Jesus Christ. Proceeding from this contemplation of 
the light of eternal life as shining in Christ's own life 
on earth, to consider the Son in His dealing with the 
Father on our behalf, and contemplating Him now as 
bearing us and our sins and miseries on His heart before 
the Father, and uttering all that in love to the Father 
and to us He feels regarding us — ^all His divine sorrow 
— all His desire — ^all His hope — all that He admits and 
confesses as against us — all that, notwithstanding. He 
asks for us, with that in His own human consciousness, 
Id His following the Father as a dear child walking in 
love, which justifies His hope in making intercession^ — 
enabling Him to intercede in conscious righteousness 
as well as conscious compassion and love, — ^we have 
the elements of the atonement before us as presented 
by the Son and accepted by the Father, and see the 
grounds of the divine procedure in granting to us re- 
mission of our sins and the gift of eternal life. We are 
contemplating what the Son, who dwells in the bosom 
of the Father, and whom the Father heareth always, 
offers to the Father a» what He knows to be according 
to the Father's will, which, receiving the Father's 
acknowledgment as accepted by Him, is sealed to us 
as the true and perfect response of the Son to the 
Father's heart and mind in relation to man, the per- 
fect doing of His will — ^the perfect declaring of His 
name. 

In the light of what God thus accepted when Christ 
through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot 
to God, we see the ultimate ground — the ultimate 
foundation in God — for that peace with God which we 
have in Christ. I say the idtimate ground in God for 
that peace with God which we have in our Lord Jesus 



176 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 

Christ; for, while the immediate ground is the atone- 
ment thus present to our faith, that is to say, the pur- 
pose ^^ fulfilled which our Lord expressed, when coming 
to put away sin* by the sacrifice of Himself, He said, 
^' Lo, I come to do thy wiU, O God f yet clearly it is 
that eternal will itsdf which He thus came to do, and 
which by doing it the Son has revealed, even that 
name of God which the Son has declared^ which is itself 
the uUimotte peace and rest of our spirits. 

In this full light of the atonement our first convic- 
tion is, that in this divine transaction in humanity, 
through which we have the remission of our sins and 
the gift of eternal life, there has been nothing arbitrary. 
We see a righteous and necessary relation between the 
remission of our sins and Christ's expiatory confession 
as the due and adequate confession of them — a perfect 
expiation in that it was divine, — perfect in relation to 
us in that it was human. We see a righteous and 
necessary relation between the gift of eternal life and 
Christ's righteousness; God's delight in that righteous- 
ness in humanity justifying to us the Son's offering it, 
and the Father's accepting it on behalf of man to be the 
righteousness of man. 

We see further that what is thus offered on our 
behalf is so offered by the Son and so accepted by the 
Father, entirely with the prospective purpose that it is 
to be reproduced in us. The expiatory confession of 
our sins which we have been contemplating is to be 
shared in by ourselves : to accept it on our behalf was 
to accept it as that mind in relation to sin in the fel- 
lowship of which we are to come to God. The righteous 
trust in the Father, that following Him as a dear child 
walking in love, which we have been contemplating as 
Christ's righteousness, is to be shared in by us : to accept 
it on our behalf as the righteousness of man, was to 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OP THE ATONEMENT. 177" 

accept it as what pleases God in man, — ^what alone can 
please God in man, — therefore as that in the fellowship 
of which we are to draw near and live that life which is 
in God's favour. 

In the light of the atonement this is seen clearly; 
and the light, as our eyes become able to bear it, recon- 
ciles us to itself. We soon are thankful that what God 
has accepted for us in Christ, is also what God has given 
to us in Christ. As to our past sins, we not only see 
that the atonement presented to our faith is far more 
honouring to the righteous law of God against which 
we had sinned, than any penal infliction for our sins, 
whether endured by another for us, or endured by our- 
selves in abiding misery, could have been ; but are 
fiirther able to accept, as a most welcome part of the 
gift of God in Christ, the power to confess our sins 
with an Amen to Christ's confession of them, true and 
deep in the measure in which we partake in His Spirit. 
We are contented and thankful to begin our new life 
with partaking in the mind of Christ concerning our 
old life, and feel the confession of our sins to be the 
side on which the life of holiness is nearest to us, the 
form in which it naturally becomes ours, and in which 
it must first be tasted by us : for holiness, truth, right- 
eousness, love, must first dawn in us as confessions of 
sin. So we welcome the fellowship of the mind in 
which Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for 
every man, as the first breathing of that life which 
comes to us through His death. As to our interest in 
the righteousness of Christ, we not only soon see that 
the acceptance of that righteousness on behalf of man, 
with the purpose of imparting it to man, is more glori- 
fying to the divine delight in righteousness than any 
other conception that has been entertained, but also 
feel the confidence toward the Father which we cherish 

CAMPB. 1 2 



178 PROSPEOTIVB ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

in receiving Christ as our life, what, by oxir own expe- 
rience in cherishing it, we know to be the only con- 
fidence towards God which can meet alike the desires 
of His heart for us, and the need of our own spirits as 
God's ofispring. 

And thus we are in a light in which aU drawing of 
us by the Father to the Son, — that is to say, aU testify- 
ing to our spirits by the Father of our spirits that He 
has given to us eternal life in His Son, — comes to us as 
the personal application to ourselves of that eternal will 
of God which we have seen revealed in Christ's dealing 
with the Father on our behalf. This drawing is felt to 
accord with, and to be interpreted by, the ofiering of 
the Son, and the acceptance of that offering by the 
Father ; and as our faith realises the work of atone- 
ment, — Christ's confession of our sins, Christ's pre- 
sentation of His own righteousness in himianity in 
relation to us, and the Father's acceptance of both on 
our behalf, — ^we are more and more able to understand 
and to believe the testimony of God in the Spirit, that 
God has given to us eternal life, and that this life is in 
His Son. 

In proportion as the light of the divine counsel 
thus strengthens to us, and in proportion to the grow- 
ing awakenedness of our spirits to the proper conscious- 
ness of Cxod's o£&pring and realisation of what the 
divine fatherliness must be, — ^what it must desire, — 
what alone can be satisfying to it, — ^we come to see the 
work of redemption in the Ught of our ultimate and 
root relation to God as the Father of spirits, with 
whom abides the fountain of life. We see that, how- 
ever we had departed from God, our true well-being 
continued to be, and must ever continue to be, so 
bound up in what God is to us in Himself, and what 
the aspect of our mind is towards Him, as that nothing 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 179 

external to this, — ^nothing in Gk)d's outward dealing 
with us, — nothing that He can give or we can receive, — 
nothing that is not included in the state of our own 
spirits towards God, and the response in our own hearts 
to that which is in His heart towards us, — can be our 
salvation. 

I have noticed above how much we may deceive 
ourselves if we expect that light from the typical sacri- 
fices under the law which can only be shed upon us by 
the antitype itself. But there is an error from which 
these services might have saved men, which yet has 
been fallen into. What these services present to us as 
the picture of God's spiritual kingdom, is, a temple and 
a worship, — ^the participation in that worship being the 
good set forth, — disqualification for that worship the 
evil,— and sacrifices, and participation in these sacrifices, 
the means of deliverance from that evil and participa- 
tion in that good. Not to deliver from punishment, 
but to cleanse and purify for worship, was the blood of 
the victim shed. Not the receiving of any manner of 
reward for righteousness, but the being holy and ac- 
cepted worshippers, was the benefit received through 
being sprinkled with the victim's blood. In the light 
of this centre idea of worship, therefore, are we to see 
the sprinkling of all things with blood, and the remis- 
sion of sins to which this related. 

Accordingly, when we pass from the type to the 
antitype, we find worship the great good set forth to usj 
— ^that worship in spirit and in truth which the heart 
of the Father craves for, — that worship which is sonship, 
—the response of the heart of the Son to the heart of 
the Father. We find the disqualification for worship to 
be not a mere fact of guilt, but the carnal mind which 
is enmity against God, — ^the law in man's members 
warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him 

12—2 



180 PKOSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

into captivity to the law of sin that is in his members. 
We find that when the Son of God came to be the 
needed victim, and to put away sin by the sacrifice of 
Himself, He indicated the nature and ^rtue of His 
contemplated sacrifice by the words, " Lo, 1 come to do 
thy will, O God ;" so that by this will it is that we are 
sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ, — 
the blood shed for the remission of sins being the blood 
of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered him- 
self without spot to God, which purges the conscience 
from dead works to serve the living God. 

Thus we are taught the strictly moral and spiritual 
relation of the sacrifice to the worship, — we see the fit- 
ness of the blood shed to fit the spirits which shall be 
washed in it to partake in that worship,— we see the 
mind of Christ, which is in that blood, to be that mind 
in the light of which and in the fellowship of which the 
worshipper will cry, Abba, Father. Finally, we see 
why the High Priest and head of this worship is the 
Son of God; and why His relation to the worshippers 
is not "the law of a carnal commandment," — not a 
mere institution or arrangement, but a spiritual rela- 
tion, viz. "the power of an endless life,'^ — so that He is 
their High Priest in that He is their life. 

All this, while it accords with the place of sacri- 
fices under the law, is to us, when we see it in the light 
of our relation to God as the Father of our spirits, of 
the nature of necessary truth, that is to say, we see 
that that access to God which shall indeed be to us a 
way into the holiest, must accord with the spiritual 
constitution of our being, with the nature of holiness, 
and with the nature of the separation from God which 
sin causes ; therefore, that no permission or autho- 
rity to come to God can be of any avail to us, apart 
from the mind in which alone he who has sinned can 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATOflEMENT. 181 

in truth draw near to God ; and this mind we see is 
just that into which the sinner enters in the Amen of 
faith to the voice that is in the blood of Christ, viz. 
Christ's confession of our sins. In the faith of God's 
acceptance of that confession on our behalf, we receive 
strength to say Amen to it, — to join in it — and, joining 
in it, we find it a living way to God ; and at the same 
time we feel certain that there is no other way, — that 
we get near to God just in the measure in which in the 
Spirit of Christ we thus livingly adopt His confession 
of our sins, — ^in this measure and no further. 

Permission to draw near to God, seen thus in the 
light of the mind in which to draw near, — that is to 
say, the remission of our sins seen in connexion with 
Christ's confession of our sins, — this \B the way of life 
open before us ; yet is that way to our faith altogether 
a part of the gift of eternal life. Though the right 
feelings for us to cherish, — though the only suitable 
feelings in which to approach to God, — though, in truth, 
the only feelings in which the consciousness of having 
sinned can coexist with the experience of communion 
with God, — these feeUngs altogether belong to the Son 
of God, — ^to the Spirit of sonship, — and are possible to 
us only in the fellowship of the Son's confidence in the 
Father's fatherly forgiveness, being quickened in us by 
the faith of that fatherly forgiveness, as uttered in 
God's acceptance of Christ's confession and intercession 
on our behalf. 

I have above insisted upon the importance of the 
difierence between a legal standing and a filial standing, 
and on the necessity, in considering the nature of the 
atonement, of keeping continually in view, that in re- 
deeming us who were under the law the divine purpose 
was that we should receive the adoption of sons. This 
necessity is becoming, I trust, more and more clear as 



182 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

we proceed. The virtue required in the blood of Christ 
is seen to be necessarily spiritual — a power to influence 
the spirits washed in it by faith^ when our need is seen 
as the need of those whose life lies in God's favour, 
whose well-being must consist in communion with God, 
whose salvation is joining in that worship of God which 
is in spirit and in truth. And the spiritual virtue 
needed is determined to be the law of the Spirit of the 
life that is in Christ, — ^the life of sonship, when it is 
understood that the worship in spirit and in truth is 
that which the Father seeketh as the Father, — ^the wor- 
ship which is sonship, that of which the Son is High 
Priest and head. But it further appears to me, that 
this conception of the worship for which the blood of 
Christ is to qualify, sheds back a light on the atone- 
ment, in which we are justified in saying that Christ's 
confession of our sin was not only the expiation due to 
the righteous law of God, but also the expiation due to 
the fatherly heart of God. 

To speak of an atonement as due to the fatherly 
heart of God is foreign to our habits of mind on the 
subject of atonement. Yet I believe, that in propor- 
tion as we see the expiation that is in Christ's confes- 
sion of man's sin to be that which has truly met the 
demand of the divine righteousness, we must see 
that the Jilial spirit that was in that confession, and 
which necessarily took into account what our being re- 
bellious children was to the Father's heart, constituted 
the perfection of the expiation. This is no uncalled for 
refinement of thought. The pardon which we need is 
the pardon of the Father of our spirits, — the way into 
the holiest which we need is the way into our Father's 
heart ; and therefore, the blood of Christ which hath 
consecrated such a way for us, must have power to 
cleanse our spirits from that spiritual pollution which 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 183 

defiles rebellious children^ that is to say^ most contaiii 
the new mind in which it pertains to rebellious children 
to return to the Father. 

And this consideration manifestly confirms the view 
now taken of the atonement. In proportion as it is 
seen that that which expiates sin must be something 
that meets a demand of the divine righteousness, the 
superiority of a moral and spiritual atonement, consist- 
ing in the right response from humanity to the divine 
mind in relation to sin, becomes clear. But that supe- 
riority is surely rendered still more unequivocal when, 
from the conception of God as the righteous ruler, we 
ascend to that of God as the Father of spirits. It is 
then that we fully realise that there is no real fitness to 
atone for sin in penal suflferings, whether endured by 
ourselves or by another for us. Most clearly to the 
Father's feelings such suflferings would be no atone- 
ment ; and yet are not these the feelings which call for 
an atonement, — ^is it not to them that expiation is most 
righteously due ? 

And I would ask some attention to this question, 
because I know that weakness has been supposed to be 
introduced into our conceptions of the divine require- 
ments, by giving prominence to the idea that God is 
our Father. Those who have this impression, and who 
fear the weakening of our sense of the divine authority, 
through giving the root place in our system to our 
relation to God as the Father of our spirits, would say, 
" It is the righteous ruler and judge who calls for an 
atonement, not the Father; the Father would receive 
us without an atonement." Certainly, such an atone- 
ment as they have before their minds, in saying this, 
would be no response to any demand that we can 
ascribe to the Father's heart, — as neither, indeed, I 
believe would it be to any demand which, in the light 



184 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

of the divine righteousness, we can ascribe to the Judge 
of all the earth. 

But this associating of moral weakness^ and, as it 
were, easiness, with the idea of the fatherliness that is 
in God, is altogether an error; neither should any place 
be given to it. " If ye call on the Father, who, without 
respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's 
work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." 
The Father's heart did demand an atoning sacrifice. Is 
not this clear, if the worship in relation to which the 
victim^s blood was shed, is, indeed, sonship? The 
Father's heart did demand the shedding of blood in 
order to the remission of sins, because it demanded 
blood in which justice would be rendered to the father- 
liness which had been sinned against, and which, there- 
fore, would have virtue in it to purge our spirits from 
their unfilial state, and to purify us in respect of the 
pollution that attaches to us as rebellious children. 

We might, indeed, say, that the Father's heart 
asked for an atonement for our sin, simply on the 
ground that it desired us back to itself, and therefore, 
desired a living way of return for us, and one related 
in its nature to the nature of our departure, in order 
that our return might be -a real return; and that such 
a way could only be that which was opened by the Son 
of God, when He confessed the sins of God's rebellious 
children as the Son, who abides ever in the bosom of 
the Father, alone could: for He, indeed, alone could 
know the exceeding sinfulness of our sins, and feel 
regarding them in that mind, the fellowship of which 
would be to us our purgation from them. But this 
moral and spiritual impossibility of our returning to 
the Father of our spirits, except on such a path as this 
which Christ has opened for us through the rent veil of 
His flesh, and in the power of that endless life in 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 185 

which He is related to us as our High Priest over the 
house of God, — this impossibility in respect of the very 
constitution of our spiritual being, can only be the 
counterpart of a necessity in the divine nature, in re- 
spect of which, the right feelings of the Father of 
spirits must be conceived of as demanding that expi- 
ation which we are now contemplating, rendering it 
impossible that He should receive us with welcome 
and acknowledgement, if coming by any other path 
than the fellowship of that expiation. God's righteous 
glory in us, no less than our special and peculiar bles- 
sedness in God as redeemed siLrs, implies that in our 
consciousness in drawing near to God, our future shall 
not be cut off from our past. Therefore, that is not to 
be in time or in eternity; nor is our life of sonship in 
its highest development to be without the element 
of the remembrance, that we did not from the first 
cry Abba, Father; "Unto Him that loved us, and 
washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath 
made us kings and priests unto God and His Father ; 
to Him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever. 
Amen/' We may say, that without the shedding of 
the blood of Christ, the Father of spirits could not 
receive back to the bosom of His love His rebellious 
children, as well as that without the shedding of the 
blood of Christ, it was morally and spiritually impossi- 
ble for them to return. For these, indeed, are but two 
aspects of one spiritual truth. 

What I thus labour to impress on the mind of my 
reader is, that the necessity for the atonement which 
we are contemplating, was moral and spiritual, arising 
out of our relation to God as the Father of spirits; 
and not merely legal, arising out of our being under 
the law. In truth, its existence as a legal necessity, 
arose out of its existence as a moral and spiritual 



186 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

necessity: therefore, the legal difficulty is to be con- 
templated as what could be, and has been, removed 
only in connexion with, and because of, the removal of 
the spiritual difficulty. In other words, we have re- 
mission of our sins in the blood of Christ, only because 
that blood has consecrated for us a way into the holiest, 
and in this relation, and in this alone, caa remission of 
sins be understood. 

Therefore, it is altogether an error to associate 
weakness and easiness with the fatherliness of God, 
and severity and stern demand with His character as 
» moral governor. What ^verity, what fi.edoe»« of 
righteous demand has to be calculated upon, is to be 
seen as first in the Father, and then in the moral 
governor, because in the Father. And, although there 
had been in the universe but one moral being related 
to God as each of us is, and though God should be con- 
templated in His dealing with that individual being as 
acting exclusively as the Father of that spirit, seeking 
to realise the yearning of His fatherly heart in relation 
to that spirit, — ^the necessity for the atonement would, 
as respected that individual, have been still what it has 
been; nor could the fulfilment of the Father's desire 
for that one man have been possible, otherwise than 
through the opening of that fountain for sin and for 
uncleanness which is presented to our faith in the shed- 
ding of Christ's blood. And I never expect to see the 
real righteous severity of God truly and healthfully 
realised, and the unchangeable and essential conditions 
of salvation apprehended, and hope cherished only 
in being conformed to them, until the blood of Christ 
is thus seen in its direct relation to our participation in 
eternal life. 

So far is it from being the case, that giving the 
root place to our relation to God as the fountain of life 



FROSPBCTIVJS ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 187 

and the Father of spirits, and subordinating the relation 
in which we stand to Him as a Lawgiver and as a 
Sovereign, — so far is this from introducing weakness 
into our conceptions of the moral and spiritual laws of 
the kingdom of God, that it is the seeing the Father in 
the Son, and the desire of the Father for us realised in 
the Son, which ultimately and absolutely shuts us up 
to the faith, that there is for us but one path of hfe, 
because but one path to the Father. " I am the way, 
the truth, and the life ; no man cometh unto the Father, 
but by me." These words of the Son, who dwelleth in 
the bosom of the Father, heard as shedding light on 
the kingdom of God, reveal a fixed and immutable 
constitution of things. No words can be more ex- 
clusive, more unbending, more remote from all opening 
of a door to the hope of being easily dealt with, — ^the 
hope of experiencing a soft, accommodating indulgence, 
that in weak tenderness would bend the divine require- 
ment to what we are. 

" No man cometh unto the Father but by me," — 
these words raise us up to a region in which there is, 
there can be, nothing arbitrary. A sovereign Lord and 
moral governor, appointing laws and enforcing them 
by the administration of a system of rewards and 
punishments, may be contemplated as severe and un- 
compromising in the exercise of his righteous rule, — 
but he may also be thought of as merciful and consi- 
derate of individual cases ; and the outward and arbi- 
trary nature of the rewards and punishments which he 
is beUeved to dispense makes his awarding the former 
on easier terms, and withholding or mitigating the 
latter according to circumstances, — and, it may be, under 
the influence of mercy, — what can be supposed, and 
what, in thinking of God as such a governor and Lord, 
and of ourselves as the subjects of His rule, we can 



188 PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

turn to the thought of with a vague hope. And such 
a governor and Lord God is in the ordinary thoughts 
of men, and such a vague hope towards God is the 
ordinary hope of men. And on such a conception of 
their relation to God have men ignorantly engrafted 
the gospel, — conceiving of it as giving a special and 
definite form to the indefinite combination of judgment 
and mercy, which has sustained that vague hope of sal- 
vation which they had cherished. But the gospel, 
truly apprehended, raises us into another and a higher 
region,-a region/ indeed, in which divine mercy or 
clemency, as previously conceived of, is felt to have 
been but as the dimmest twilight of kindness and 
goodwill towards men, in comparison of the noonday 
light of the love of the Father of spirits to His off- 
spring, — ^but a region also in which no arbitrary deaUng 
with us can find a place. In the light that shines in 
that region, it is clear to us, that the relation between 
the blessedness that is seen there, and the rightness 
that is recognised there, is fixed and immutable. So 
that the liberty which, in the lower region, we ascribed 
to mercy, is here found not to belong to love ; nor the 
discretion which we ventured to attribute to the right- 
eous governor, found to pertain to the loving Father; 
but, on the contrary, the law of the Father — the prin- 
ciple on which happiness is dispensed, by Him to His 
offspring as His offspring — ^is found to be fixed and 
altogether unbending, incapable of accommodation in 
a way of pity, or indulgence, or consideration of cir- 
cumstances. "No man cometh unto the Father but 
by the Son." All modification of this law is impos^ 
sible; for sonship and fatherliness are mutually re- 
lated in an eternal relation. The Father, as the 
Father, can only receive His offspring to Himself as 
icoming to Him in the spirit of sonship ; — ^neither other- 



PROSPECTIVE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 189 

wise than as coming in the spirit of sonship can they in 
spirit and in truth draw near to Him. 

I have spoken of a vray into the holiest as what 
must have its nature determined by the nature of holi- 
ness ; so a way to the Father must have its nature 
determined by the nature of fatherliness. These are 
two aspects of one spiritual reality; a reality, reader, 
which we must steadfastly contemplate, to the cer- 
tainty and fixedness of which we must be reconciled, — 
a reality in the light of which we must see the free 
pardon of sin and redeeming love, and all the divine 
mercy to us sinners which the gospel reveals. In that 
lower* moral region to which I have referred, in which 
men are not dealing with the Father of spirits, but 
with the moral governor of the universe, (but whose 
moral government, while thus not illumined by the 
light of His fatherliness, is never understood,) we may 
be occupied with the punishment of sin and the rewards 
of righteousness, in a way that permits us to connect 
the atonement directly with the idea of punishment and 
reward, and invests it simply with the interest of that 
desire to escape punishment and to be assured of hap- 
piness, which may, even in the lowest spiritual state, be 
strong and lively in us. But if we will come to the 
atonement, not venturing in our darkness to prede- 
termine anything as to its nature, but expecting light 
to shine upon our spirits from it, even the light of 
eternal life ; if we will suffer it to inform us by its own 
light why we needed it, and what its true value to us 
is, the punishment of sin will fall into its proper place, 
as testifying to the existence of an evil greater than 
itself, even sin; from which greater evil it is the direct 
object of the atonement to deliver us, — deliverance from 
punishment being but a secondary result. And the re- 
ward of righteousness will be raised in our conceptions 



190 PROSPKCTIVK ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT. 

from the character of something that can be ours by 
the adjudication of the judge on arbitrary grounds 
which mercy may recommend, to its true dignity as 
that blessedness which is essentially inherent in right- 
eousness, and in that glorifying and enjoying of God of 
which righteousness alone is the capacity, and which 
no name, nor title, nor arbitrary arrangement, can 
confer. 

The atonement, thus seen by its own light, is not 
what in our darkness we desired ; but it soon reconcUes 
us to itself, for it sets us right as to the true secret of 
well being. A spiritual constitution of things that 
would have been more accommodating to what we 
were through sin, we soon see as precluded alike by 
the nature of God, and the nature of man in its relation 
to the nature of God, — ^a relation, to violate which 
would not be the salvation, but the destruction of man. 
We, indeed, see ourselves encompassed by necessities, 
ins^ui of iexible, compromising; weak tendernesses; 
but they are necessities to which we are altogether re- 
conciled, for we are reconciled to God. One has said, 
"It is a profitable sweet necessity to be forced on the 
naked arm of Jehovah." That "no man cometh to the 
Father but by the Son" is the great and all-including 
necessity that is revealed to us by the atonement. But, 
as combined with the gift of the Son to us as the living 
way to the Father, we rejoice to find ourselves shut up 
to " so great salvation." 



■ 



CHAPTER VIII. 

FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED -AND NECESSARY 
CHARACTER OF SALVATION AS DETERMINING THE 
NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT AND THE FORM OF THE 
GRACE OF GOD TO MAN. 

I HAVE said that the character of the Mosaic insti* 
tutions, as commented upon in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, ought to have saved us from the direct con- 
necting of the atonement with the subject of rewards 
and punishments, and more especially from that direct 
connecting of forgiveness through the blood of Christ 
with exemption from punishment which has so pre- 
vailed, seeing that the blood of the victim was intended 
to purify and cleanse for participation in worship. In 
this light as to the relation of the sacrifice to worship, 
and seeing the worship typified to be that worship 
which is sonship, we see how perfectly that which our 
Lord taught in saying, "No man cometh unto the 
Father but by me" — ^meaning to fix the attention of 
His disciples on what He Himself was in their sight, 
as the revealer of the Father by the matdfested life of 
sonship,— accords with the elements of confidence in 
drawing near to God, which the Apostle enumerates in 
exhorting men to " draw near in the full assurance of 
faith, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil con- 
science, and their bodies washed with pure water/* 
That our Lord and the Apostle must have contemplated 
the same thing as the due and accepted worship we 
cannot doubt. But it is only when we understand, 
that the shedding of the blood of Christ had direct 
reference to otir relation to God as the Father of our 
spirits, and to the opening of a way in which we as 



192 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

rebellious children can return to the bosom of the 
Father's love, according to the truth of what the Father 
is, and what sonship is, that we see that, " having bold- 
ness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by 
a new and Hving way which He hath consecrated for 
us through the veil, that is to say His flesh, and having 
an High Priest over the house of God," is the same 
thing with the Son of God being to us a living way to 
the Father. 

The doctrinal form of thought which the language 
of the Apostle presents, would probably have been more 
difficult of apprehension to the disciples, who had yet 
to learn that "it behoved Christ first to suffer and 
afterwards to enter into His glory," than even their 
Lord's language as to their own favoured position as 
the chosen companions of the path of Him who could 
say, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." 
Yet, afterwards, they could look back and see the 
identity of what they subsequently learned, with what 
had been presented to their faith in their personal 
acquaintance with Christ. These disciples, indeed, 
knew not then the form which the work of redemption 
must take in being perfected, but they had received 
under the Lord's personal ministry that spiritual teach- 
ing, for the want of which, no familiarity with the full 
record of the finished work of Christ can compensate, 
and in the absence of which, our study of that record 
never is safe ; for already they were fit subjects for that 
high testimony from their Lord, " They are not of the 
world, even as I am not of the world;" they had re- 
ceived the Son as coming to them in the Father's name, 
and that was quickened in them which was according to 
the truth of our relation to God as the Father of our 
spirits. Their attraction to their Master was, that they 
felt that He ^*had the words of eternal life;" — their cry 



I 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 193 

was, " Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us ; " and so, 
when the true worship, of which their temple service had 
been a type, was subsequently clearly revealed to them 
as that worship which is sonship, and when they learned 
distinctly to contemplate the heart of the Father as the 
Holy of Holies, they were prepared to know the Son of 
God as both the sacrifice and the High Priest. 

This unity of their recollections of the Lord as they 
knew Him so nearly, with the light that afterwards 
shone to them in His blood shed for the remission of 
sins, and in His relation to them as the High Priest 
over the house of God, is illustrated to us by that 
opening of the first Epistle of John which has already 
engaged our attention. The fellowship with the Father 
and with His Son Jesus Christ, which the Apostle had 
entered into in receiving the knowledge of eternal life, 
we have already noticed. This divine fellowship he 
proceeds at the 5th verse to speak of as calling Him 
to declare to men as the divine message — the Gospel — 
*^ that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 
This statement in the connexion in which it is made 
has clearly the same fixedness of character, as respects 
the terms of grace and the way of salvation, which we 
have seen in the Saviour's own words, "No man 
cometh unto the Father but by me." For, he adds, 
"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and 
walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but 
if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we 
have fellowship one with another." This is, indeed, but 
the same spiritual law or necessity elsewhere declared 
in the words^ "there is no communion between 
light and darkness." But the experimental character 
of the. Apostle's language as used by one claiming to 
have the fellowship with God of which he speaks — 
fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus 

CAMPB. 13 



194 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

Christ, — claiming through knowledge of Christ both to 
know that God is light, and to be walking in that light, 
and making His own experience in this spiritual region 
known to us with the purpose and hope of our coming 
into the fellowship of it, and so being saved; — ^this 
brings the truth that " there is no communion between 
light and darkness" — very near to us — very home to us: 
the felt unity of what the disciples came to know, 
when they came to understand that ' it behoved Christ 
to suffer, and afterwards to enter into His glory,' with 
what had been presented to their faith in the life of 
Christ, and what their Lord had commended to them 
as the Hght of Ufe when He said, "I am the way, the 
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, 
but by me," coming fiilly out in the words which follow, 
''If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have 
fellowship one with another, and die blood of Jesus 
Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.'' Not surely — 
what I fear these words too often suggest — a cleansing 
having reference to our exposure to the punishment of 
sin, but a cleansing having reference to the pollution of 
sin itself. Not, therefore, a cleansing spoken of in a 
legal sense, and as something over and above the spirit- 
ual cleansing implied in walking in the light of God 
and having fellowship with God, but a cleansing hav-- 
ing effect in that fellowship, and which is referred to as 
explaining that fellowship, explaining how it comes to 
pass in a way that gives the glory of that fellowship to 
the blood of Christ in which such cleansing power is 
found. For ^e cannot doubt that the power to cleanse 
which here the words, *'the blood of Jesus Christ His 
Son cleanseth from all sin," declare, is the same that is 
contemplated where it is said, "If the blood of bulls 
and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the 
unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OP SALVATION. 195 

much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the 
eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, 
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the 
living God?" To say that the blood of Christ " clean- 
seth us from all sin,*' and to say that it "purges the 
conscience from dead works, to serve the living God," 
are but different ways of declaring the spiritual power 
of the atonement when apprehended by faith, — asserting 
its fitness for being partaken in by us as the mind of 
Christ in relation to our sin. And so the words are 
added in relation to our own participation in Christ's 
expiatory confession of our sin, " If we say that we have 
no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive 
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 
So he proceeds to speak of Christ as our advocate 
with the Father, and the propitiation for our sins: 
" My little children, these things write I unto you, that 
ye sin not," for he has been shutting them up to a 
salvation which is walking in the light of God, and is 
fellowship with God. And, that they may feel the rea- 
sonableness of proposing to them "that they sin not," he 
reminds them that " if any man sin, we have an Advo- 
cate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" and 
that " He is the propitiation for our sins." Of course, 
if any man sin and then find comfort in remembering 
that he has an advocate with the Father, this implies, that 
with the thought of that advocate will rise the thought 
of the pardon of sin ; but it is clear that the pardon of 
sin is here rather implied than expressed, for the value 
and use of the advocate directly contemplated is His 
value to those who are called "not to sin;" therefore is 
the " righteoiisness" of the advocate that on which 
attention is fixed : for He is made of God unto us 
righteousness, and righteousness is in Him for us as 

13—2 



196 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

the sap is in the vine for the branch. On the ground 
of the sap that is in the vine, therefore, are the 
branches here exhorted to bear fruit ; which also deter- 
mines the light in which the Saviour is contemplated 
when it is added, " He is the propitiation for our sins;" 
and that this is spoken in direct reference to Christ's 
righteousness, and the fitness of that righteousness to 
meet the need of the sinner as being deliverance from 
sin. In other words, Christ is the propitiation for our 
sins as He is the way into the holiest, — the living way 
to the Father. 

And He is the propitiation : for propitiation is not 
a thing which He has accomplished and on which we 
are thrown back as on a past fact. He is the propitia- 
tion. Propitiation for us sinners, — ^reconciliation to 
God, — oneness with God abides in Christ. When we 
sin, and so separate ourselves from God, if we would 
return and not continue in sin we must remember this. 
For it is in this view that the Apostle, writing to us 
" that we sin not," reminds us of the propitiation — not 
a work of Christ, but the living Christ Himself ; and so 
he proceeds — " Hereby we do know that we know Him, 
if we keep His commandments ;" the direct effect of 
knowing Christ the propiticUion for sin being keeping 
Christ^ s commandments. And because of the power to 
keep Christ's commandments, which is ours in Christ as 
the propitiation for our sins, the Apostle, in words simi- 
lar to those which he had just used with reference to 
the claim to fellowship with God who is light, adds, "He 
that saith I know Him," that is Christ the propitiation 
for our sins, " and keepeth not His commandments is a 
liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth 
His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected," 
— ^the end of this gift of love accomplished. " Hereby 
know we that we are in Him. He that saith he 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 197 

ahideth in Him ought himself also to walk even oi He 
walked" 

We need not then be uncertain what the reference 
is in which the "righteousness" of the Advocate with the 
Father is here contemplated, or doubt that, by abiding 
in Christ is here meant, that abiding in which the 
branch receives the sap of the vine, that it may bear 
fruit. And yet I know that this directness of relation 
between knowing Christ as the propitiation for our 
sins, and walking as He walked, some may deny, and 
that, retaining thft meaning for the word "propitktion" 
which the conception of an atonement as substituted 
penal suffering has given to it, it may be said that it is 
as a motive to gratitude, because of the dehverance 
from punishment through the sufferings of Christ, that 
a moral power is here ascribed to Christ's being the pro- 
pitiation for our sins. The impression of dirltne^ in 
this matter, that is, of direct dealing with sin itself as 
the evil, and of recognition of Christ as the deliverer 
from sin, which not only the verses I have quoted, but 
the whole Epistle gives, is, however, so strong that I 
cannot but hope that, in spite of associations of old 
standing, I may not in vain have directed the reader's 
attention to it. 

And, with a similar hope, though with the same 
knowledge that deep-rooted associations stand in the 
way, I would now take the reader to a parallel passage 
in the Epistle to the Hebrews. I refer to the 2nd 
chapter, verses 17, 18, "Wherefore in all things it 
behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that 
He might be a merciful and faithfiil High Priest in 
things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the 
sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suf- 
fered being tempted. He is able to succour them that 
are tempted." To succour us when we are tempted, is 



198 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

manifestly to do for us that very service which I have 
just represented the Apostle John as leading those to 
whom he writes "that they sin not/' to expect from 
that righteous advocate with the Father, who is the 
propitiation for our sins. For this service of love, Christ 
is here represented as fitted, in that He Himself hath 
suffered, being tempted — ^as ^ere by being righteous. 
Both thoughts are combined when it is said, that " He 
was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without 
sin." Now, going back from the i8th verse to the 
1 7th (the 1 8th, " For," &c. being given as the justifica- 
tion of the comfort offered in the 17 th), it is clear, that 
"making reconciliation for the sins of the people," is 
the same thing with "succouring us when we are 
tempted,"— in other words, is a dealing with our spirits 
as worshipping God-calling Him Father, in a way of 
merciful and faithful aid, such as the High Priest, who 
is related to us according to the power of an endless 
life — ^the Son of God, in whom we have eternal life, — 
has been qualified for ministering to us through having 
"been made in all things like unto His brethren." 

I know that this view of making reconciliation for 
our sins as being the ministering to us a present help, 
according to our spiritual need, — enabling us to be at 
peace with God spiritually, and therefore, truly, — en- 
abling us to worship God, who is a spirit, in spirit and 
in truth — is not that usually taken. And that thus to 
interpret Christ's making reconciliation by the refer- 
ence made to His experience of our conditions as what 
has qualified Him for this oflSce of an High Priest, is 
as great a departure from prevailing associations with 
the sacred language, as there is in the view just taken 
of what is taught when Christ is said to be the pro- 
pitiation for our sins. Yet there is no case in which 
there is to my mind a more painfiil illustration of the 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 199 

power of system, than in the way in which the i8th 
verse has seemed to have been lost sight of in fixing 
the meaning of the 1 7th, and in which, indeed, I may 
say the tone of the 17th itself, as a whole, has been 
misunderstood. 

If the interpretation of the expressions, "propitia- 
tion" and "reconciliation," now adopted in harmony 
with the view taken of the nature of the atonement, 
commends itself to the reader, he will be prepared to 
receive a corresponding interpretetion of the expression 
" peace," as applied to Christ, when He is said to be 
"our peace," — ^making it equivalent to His claim to 
being the only "way to the Father." Eph. ii. 14. 

In the teaching by which the Saviour comforted the 
disciples in the near prospect of His being taken from 
them, we find Him, in words referred to already, en- 
couraging them by the prospect of passing through the 
trials that awaited them in the fellowship of the inward 
consolation by which they had seen their Lord Him- 
self sustained in all they had seen Him pass through. 
" Peace," says He, " I leave with you, my peace I give 
unto you." That He could speak to them of His own 
peace, has been already noticed, as a part of the per- 
fection of His witnessing for the Father. That He 
could promise t6 them the fellowship of that peace 
which He thus claims as His own, has been also already 
noticed as one of the forms in which He made them 
to know that the life of sonship which they witnessed 
in Him, was in Him the Father s gift to them. If 
they were to be sons of God in spirit and in truth, the 
peace of the Son in following the Father as a dear 
chUd, would be their portion also. Further, as they 
were to live the life of sonship, not as independent 
beings, following the example of the Son of God, but 
as abiding in the Son of God, as branches in the true 



200 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

vine, this peace which He bequeathed to them they 
were not to have apart from Himself. In abiding in 
Him were they to have it as a part of the fiilness that 
was in Him for them — a part of the all things pertain- 
ing to life and to godliness. ''In me ye shall have 
peace." Thus are we to understand the word '' peace " 
in the promises of the Lord to the disciples before His 
departure ; thus are we to understand it when, on those 
occasions on which He appeared to them between His 
resurrection and ascension, still further to comfort their 
hearts and to strengthen them for what was before 
them, He stood in the midst of them and said, " Peace 
be unto you ; as the Father hath sent me, even so send 
I you." Doubtless, thus also are we to understand the 
''peace" intended in the apostolic prayer and benedic- 
tion, "Grace be unto you, and peace from God the 
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Nor has 
the word any other meaning than this in the song of 
the heavenly host at the nativity, '' Glory to God in 
the highest; on earth peace, and good-will toward men." 
Now the reader is prepared to understand that in ac- 
cordance with the nature of the atonement as now 
represented, it is the same peace, the peace of sonship, 
the peace that is " from God the Father and the Lord 
Jesus Christ ;" being peace " in fellowship with the 
Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," — it is this 
same peace that I understand to be the peace spoken 
of when it is said that Christ " is our peace." 

The parallelism of the 2nd chapter of the Epistle 
to the Ephesians, with the portion of the loth chapter 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, considered above, is 
obvious. The language of the temple service is not so 
closely adhered to, nor is salvation so exclusively con- 
templated as the condition of true and accepted wor- 
ship ; for with the idea of " a holy temple," is united 



AND NECESSARY CJIARACTfiR OF SALVATION. 201 

that of '^ citizenship," and a "household,'' verses 19, 
20, 21, 22; but the summing up of the evil of the 
state in which the gospel had found the Ephesians, in 
the words " without God in the world," verse 1 2 — the 
setting forth, as the grace revealed to them, their being 
"made nigh by the blood 6f Christ" — ^the purpose 
ascribed to Christ, to reconcile us to God, by slaying 
the enmity, — all express the same conception of the evil 
of man's state as a sinner as consisting in his spiritual 
distance from God, and of the salvation revealed in the 
gospel as consisting in spiritual nearness to God. In 
this connexion the peace which Christ is said to he, and 
which is said to be preached to men, can only be un- 
derstood to be a spiritual peace with God — a spiritual 
destruction of the previous enmity — ^a spiritual reality 
present in the humanity of Christ, and proclaimed to 
men as the gift of God to them in Christ, — one with 
the way into the holiest, which He has opened up for 
us, — the way to the Father, which He is to us. And 
this spiritual conception of the peace spoken of, sug- 
gested by the tone of the whole passage as what alone 
accords with the spiritual realities of distance from God 
and nearness to God, is sealed to us as the true con- 
ception by the explanatory words of the i8th verse. 
" For through Him we both have access by one spirit 
unto the Father." "For," that is to say, because of 
this condition of things,' viz., our having, both Jew and 
Gentile, through Christ, access by one spirit unto the 
Father, — therefore, is peace preached to us, for in this 
is peace for us. 

Looking more closely into the passage, there is a 
complication foreign to our present purpose introduced 
by the mention of Jew and Gentile. This has arisen 
from its being an Epistle to Gentiles. But we see that 
the Apostle is taking us deeper than the distinction 



202 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OP THE FIXED 

between Jew and Gentile. He is taking us down to 
our common humanity, and presenting to our faith 
the Son of God by one work doing away with the 
separation between Jew and Gentile, and reconciling 
both Jew and Gentile — ^all humanity — unto God in one 
body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. 
Paul says to the Galatians, "We who are Jews by 
nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that 
a man is not justified by the works of the law but by 
the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in 
Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of 
Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the 
works of the law shall no flesh be justified." So here 
he takes the Ephesians to the contemplation of that 
dealing of the Son with the Father on behalf of all 
humanity, in which Jew and Gentile were alike in- 
terested, and in which they must alike see their interest 
if they would see the veil rent that separated them 
from each other, and separated them fi'om God; for, 
indeed, the veU is one and the same that separates man 
firom God, and that separates man from man. 

I will not anticipate that tracing of the atonement 
in connexion with the actual history of our Lord's work 
to its close on the cross which I contemplate, and by 
which, I hope, the view I am presenting of the nature 
of the atonement will be felt to be illustrated and con- 
firmed. In no view of the atonement can the cruci- 
fixion be separated firom the previous life of which it 
was the close. Yet, it is only the view now taken that 
identifies the peace to which our Lord was conscious 
throughout His own life on earth, and which He pro- 
mised to His disciples, with the peace which He fully 
accompKshed and vindicated for humanity in that death 
on the cross, which was the perfecting of the Lord's 
work of redemption, the perfected fulfilling of the 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 203 

purpose, " Lo, I come to do thy will, O God," the per- 
fecting of His declaration of the Father's name. But 
the gospel does not proclaim two manners of peace with 
God : one legal, the result of Christ's bearing the penalty 
of our sins; the other spiritual, to be known in our par- 
ticipation in Christ's spirit. That oneness of mind with 
the Father in the aspect of the divine mind towards 
man, which was foUy developed and perfected in huma- 
nity in the Son of God when His confession of the 
Father before men, and His dealing with the Father 
on behalf of men, were perfected on the cross,— this wa« 
that divine and spiritual peace for man in His relation 
to God, which is to be contemplated, first, as m its own 
nature and essence spiritual ; and then, because spiritual, 
also legal, — a perfect answer to all the demands of the 
law of God, — a perfect justification of God in regard to 
the grace in which we stand. 

And thus was the atonement adequate to whatever 
victory of Christ on our behalf is implied in His leading 
our captivity captive, when " through death destroying 
him that had the power of death, that is, the devil ; 
and delivering them who through fear of death were all 
their lifetime subject to bondage," Hebrews ii. 14, 15. 
The power of evil adverse to us to which this language 
refers we imperfectly understand. Definite conceptions 
of the manner of our bondage we have not beyond this, 
that '' the strength of sin was the law.'' But, if the 
honour regarded as done to the law by the death of 
Christ conceived of as implying the enduring of penal 
infliction for our sins, have seemed a sufficient expla- 
nation of the power thus ascribed to Christ's cross, how 
infinitely more adequate to the results accomplished, 
because infinitely more honouring to the law of God, 
and a real living dealing with that in the heart of the 
Father of spirits to which the law refers, is the moral 



204 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OP THE FIXED 

and spiritual atonement of which the cross was the per^ 
fecting! Chiist said to Pilate, "Thou couldest have 
no power at all against me, except it were given thee 
from above;" and this we know of all subordinate 
power, wherever present, for " power belongeth to God 
alone/' Therefore has the power ascribed to the ac- 
cuser of the brethren — our adversary the devil — ^been 
always, and rightly regarded, as what could only rest 
upon the fixedness of that moral constitution of things 
of which the law is the formal expression, and our re- 
bellion against which had given him advantage over 
us. But the root of that constitution of things is the 
Fatherliness of the Father of our spirits : nothing, 
therefore, could truly honour that constitution which 
did not do due honour to that Fatherliness in which it 
has its root; while that Fatherliness being duly ho- 
noured, the law must of necessity have been therein 
honouried, and with the highest honour. 

While, therefore, that formal literal meeting of the 
demands of the law which men have seen in Christ has 
been to them the spoiling of the power of the devil, 
because it was a meeting of the law seen simply as the 
law; in the light in which we are now contemplating 
the work of redemption, it is the Son's dealing in hu- 
manity directly with the Fatherliness that is in God — 
and so dealing with the violation of the law in relation 
to the ultimate desire of the heart of the Father, who 
gave the law — by which we see ourselves, who were 
under the law, redeemed, that we might receive the 
adoption of sons ; this true doing of the Father's will 
by the Son, and not a mere literal fulfilling of the law, 
being the spiritual might by which our captivity is seen 
to be led captive. 

This deliverance wrought out for all humanity, — 
the peace accomplished on the cross, — is, in respect of 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 203 

its heiagjirst spiritual, and then, as a consequence, legal, 
in striking accordance with the order that is observed 
in our individual participation in it. "Verily, verily, I 
say unto you. He that heareth my word, and believeth 
on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall 
not come into condemnation; but is passed from death 
unto life." John v. 24. 

But to this order men do not easily conform . There 
is a state of mind in which it will be asked, " If the 
relation of the atonement to our participation in the 
life of Christ be thus direct and immediate, — if it be 
such as necessitates our giving a moral, a spiritual 
meaning, as distinguished from a mere legal meaning, to 
the expressions, ' peace with God,' ' reconciliation with 
God,' ' propitiation for sin,' — if the immediate and only 
natural reflection in seeing the pardon of our sins as 
the gospel reveals it, be, that we are free to draw near 
to God, to join in the services of the true sanctuary, 
and in the spirit of sonship to have communion with 
our heavenly Father, — if Christ's suffering for us, the 
just for the unjust, thus simply suggest the purpose of 
bringing us to God,^then is the gospel to us sinners 
the good news which it claims to be ? The wrath of 
God has been revealed against all unrighteousness of 
men; we are sinners under condemnation, — our first 
need is pardon, as a discharge from the sentence upon 
us. Granting that our true well-being is to be ulti- 
mately found in peace and reconciliation in the spiritual 
sense of the words, have we not at first need of peace 
and reconciliation in a legal sense ? Our fears of wrath 
may not be holy feelings, or what pertain to the divine 
life in man ; but are they not natural, allowable, nay, 
right feelings in us sinners ? And if they are, are they 
not to be taken account ot and must not this be done 
in the first place?" 



206 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

I have said above, that what of severity is in the 
moral governor of the universe, has its root in the heart 
of the Father of spirits. We cannot, therefore, believe 
in an atonement that satisfies the heart of the Father, 
— we cannot beUeve in blood shed for the remission of 
our sins, which has power to purge our spirits for that 
worship which is sonship, — and yet be uncertain whe- 
ther, partaking in the fruit of such an atonement, and 
joining in this worship, we are still exposed to the 
righteous wrath of God. If an atonement be adequate 
morally and spiritually, it will of necessity be legally 
adequate. If it be sufficient in relation to our receiving 
the adoption of sons, it must be sufficient for our re- 
demption as under the law. To think otherwise would 
be to subordinate the gospel to the law, and the love of 
the Father of spirits to His offspring to that moral go- 
vernment which has its origin in that love. We are 
not under the law, but under grace. Let us receive 
this gracious constitution of things in the light of the 
love that has ordained it. Let us understand that He 
was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might 
be made the righteousness of God in Him. Let us 
conform to this purpose of God, — ^let us receive the 
righteousness of God in Christ, and be the righteous- 
ness of God in Him, — ^let us be reconciled to God, 
and we shall find all questions as to our exposure to 
the wrath of God to have been fully taken into account 
in that divine counsel which we have welcomed, for 
we shall understand the experience of the Apostle, — 
*' Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have 
boldness in the day of judgment ; because as He is, so 
are we in this world." Surely Philip was right when 
he said, " Shew us the Father, and it -suj^eih us'' 
Surely we do not know to what we are listening when 
we are listening to the testimony of God concerning 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 207 

His Son, viz. that ''God has given to us eternal life, 
and that this life is in His Son," if we can answer, 
" But if we receive this life to be our life, will that be 
enough for us; shall we not need something besides, 
to save us from the wrath to come?" Oh, my brother, 
" there is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out 
fear." If you are " reconciled to God by the death of 
His Son," how shall you not be "saved from wrath 
through Him?" It is, indeed, unbelievable — ^no man 
can believe — that receiving Christ as our life, we can 
feel that His blood does indeed cleanse from all sin, in 
relation to that worship of God which is in spirit and 
in truth ; but that we cannot feel secure as engaged in 
this worship, unless that blood of Christ, under the 
power of which our spirits have come by faith, sp^k 
to our consciences of penal sufferings, endured for us, 
and so assure us that the law has no claim against us. 

But the difficulty felt is not that of persons seeing 
the subject from this point of view. One once said to 
me, when urging on him the evidence for the univer- 
sality of the atonement, in opposition to his own fitith 
of an atonement for an election only, — "Were I to 
believe that Christ died for all, it would destroy the 
peace which I have in the faith of the atonement, for 
this is my peace, — He suffered, therefore I shall not 
suffer." This was the same idea which we have seen 
urged on Arminians by Dr. Owen, in that dilemma 
which appears unanswerable, on the assumption that 
the atonement was the enduring of penal suffering by 
Christ as our substitute. Yet, however inconsistently, 
and though not in the strong form,^ — "He suffered, 
therefore I shall not suffer," — many feel as if they 
were less obnoxious to suffering, because of the penal 
suffering which they assume to have been endured by 
Christ, even when their faith in the universality of the 



208 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

atonement necessarily qualifies their comfort from this 
source. I do not now recur to the inconsistency which 
Dr. Owen has so well exposed, but will deal directly 
with the state of mind which desires, if it does not 
quite venture to cherish, the peace of saying, "He 
suffered, therefore I shall not suffer." 

This state of mind only exists through not seeing 
our relation to God as a moral governor, in its true 
subordination to our relation to Him as the Father of 
our spirits. I have asked, " Can the moral governor 
remain unsatisfied if the Father of spirits is satisfied?" 
The converse of this question is, " Can the moral go- 
vernor be satisfied while the Father of spirits is not ? " 
To suppose that peace can ever be justifiable on the 
ground, " He suffered, therefore I shall not suffer," is 
to answer this question in the affirmative, — it is to sup- 
pose that when Christ suffered, the just for the unjust, 
the direct end was that the unjust should not suffer. 
Now, we cannot doubt the pain which the exposure of the 
unjust to suffering was to God, or the desire of His heart 
to save them from suffering ; but we must not forget 
that the original reason for connecting sin and misery 
still continued, — that that connexion was not arbitrary, 
— that the wrath of God revealed against all unright- 
eousness of men was not a feeling that has passed, or 
could pass away, — no revelation of the unchanging 
God could. Therefore, when the just suffered for the 
unjust, it was with the direct purpose of bringing the 
unjust to God, — that is, bringing the unjust to the 
obedience of the just, leaving the conneodon between 
suffering and injustice, or sin, undissolved, the righteous- 
ness of that connexion being unchanged. 

Here we are met by another necessity, correspond- 
ing to that already dwelt on as declared in the words, 
" No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." But 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 209 

how could it be otherwise? If departure from the 
Father be the ultimate root evil, which it was rights 
eousness — ^^the righteousness of love — to visit with 
wrath, how should deliverance from wrath be expe^ 
rienced otherwise than in returning to the Father, or 
mercy to those who had departed, take any other form 
than opening for them the way of return ? 

I have said that the atonement reconciles us to the 
spiritual necessities, the laws of the kingdom of God 
which it reveals. We should in our darkness be willing 
to lose the Father in the moral governor, if we could 
think of the moral governor in a way that would permit 
to us the feeling of security under His government ; and 
all the demand that we should make on the fatherliness 
of the Father of our spirits, would be for such-mercy a^ 
would qualify His moral government and modify it in 
accommodation to what we feel ourselves to be. But 
in the light of the atonement which reveals the Father 
to us in the Son, we bless God that not our wishes in our 
darkness, but God's own fatherliness and our capacity 
of sonship have determined the nature of the grace 
extended to us. Nor would we now desire to see one 
terror that is connected with sin separated from it, or 
one token of the divine displeasure against it with- 
drawn. For Christ's sufferings have revealed to us the 
nature, and the depth, and the righteousness of God's 
wrath against sin, — what our sins are to His heart, and 
what that mind in relation to sin is to which it is His 
sole desire in the matter to bring us, and which mind is 
His gift to us in Christ, in whom it is revealed. There- 
fore, the pardon of sin in any other sense than the 
revealing, and the opening to us of the path of life, is 
now to us as undesirable as, in relation to the moral 
government of the Father of spirits, it is incon- 
ceivable. 

CAMPB. 14 



210 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

To some whose serious thoughts are occupied with 
the punishment of sin as an object of terror^ rather than 
with the sin itself on which it is God's mark^ this tone 
may seem high, and, it may be, even presumptuous, 
and in relation to themselves, imfeeling ; more like the 
self-congratulation of the pharisee, than the humility 
of the publican, and sounding like self-righteousness, 
however it naay be but that " giving of thanks at the 
remembrance of God's holiness" of which the psalmist 
speaks. Others again, entirely occupied with their own 
newly-discovered and dimly-apprehended exposure to 
divine wrath, will not venture to judge those on whom 
they look as more in the Ught of God than themselves, 
or to doubt that their professed sympathy in the mind 
of God towards sin, may be genuine, and consistent 
with humility, but they are still disposed to say, 
"Shew us something more suited to our present position, 
some ground of safety to rest upon — to trust to at 
once; and then teach us to worship, and direct us to 
the provision for doing so in spirit and in truth; for 
doubtless such worship belongs to Christianity." 

As to the first of these states of noind, the miscon- 
struction of confounding the righteousness of faith with 
self-righteousness, is not strange to those who are the 
subjects of it ; nor, as to the second, is the temptation 
to seek a ground of peace in relation to God's law, — 
thinking only of the lawgiver, and not thinking of the 
Father of spirits, what any one can have difficulty in 
understanding, who knows how much religious earnest- 
ness exists which has no deeper root than the sense 
of our dependence on God as our sovereign Lord, the 
judge of all the earth. But whether judging the spirits 
of those who preach the true gospel of peace to them, 
or withholding fh>m judging, the feeling of awakened 
sinners "that the ground taken is too high for them," 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 211 

is altogether a misconception on their part. We be- 
seech men by the meekness and gentleness of Christ ; 
we are ambassadors for Him who would not break the 
bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax: but our 
word, the word which He has put into our mouth is, 
"Be ye reconciled to God." Is this a hard saying, too 
high a demand to make on the awakened, self-con- 
demned spirit ? It is not made but in connexion with 
that which God has done to make such a demand 
reasonable, — ^yea hopefiil, as addressed to the chief of 
sinners, viz. the peace for man in his relation to God 
which is in the blood of Christ : but in connexion with 
this prepared and revealed peace it is made, and we 
may not change or modify this demand, or in any way 
accommodate ourselves to a state of mind in which 
alienation from God is not felt to be the great, Uie all- 
embracing evil of our state as sinners, and reconciliation 
to God the very first dawn of light, and breathing of 
the breath of a new life. 

So that however awful our sense of all secondary- 
evils that come in the train of men's alienation, or high 
our conception of the secondary good that will follow 
on their being reconciled to God, we must forbid all 
direct dealing with wrath and judgment as if these 
might be Jirst disposed of, and then attention turned to 
other considerations. We have here to do with per- 
sons, — the Father of spirits and His offspring* These 
are to each other more than all things and aU circum- 
stances. We know that the desire of the Father's 
heart is toward His offspring, — ^that it goes forth to 
them directly, — ^that it is not a simple mercy pitying 
their misery, — that it seeks to possess them as dear 
children. We know that to be restored to Him, and 
to possess Him as their Father, is to these alienated 
children themselves not merely a great thing, but every 

14 — ^ 



212 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OP THE FIXED 

thing. He, the Father, has done all towards their 
reconciliation in perfect fatherliness, and all the pro- 
visions of His love have been dictated, and have had 
their character determined by His fatherliness. They 
therefore must hear nothing, be occupied with nothing, 
but what pertains to their charter as His offspring. 
They must see His grace as that outcoming of father- 
liness which it is,— they must see its provisions for them 
as what belong to the adoption of sons which He con- 
templates for them. And so they must hear the call 
addressed to them in the words, " Be ye reconciled to 
God," as not only a reasonable call in respect of the 
grace manifested, but as, indeed, the gracious invitation 
to the benefit of that grace, — as equivalent to, "Be saved, 
receive salvation." As to wrath — terror — ^these they 
have not directly to do with ; they are to think of them 
as connected with the region of distance from God, of 
alienation from God, back from which they are called : — 
they will cease as to them in their being reconciled to 
God. They belong to that which is without : but the 
invitation to be reconciled to God is the invitation to 
return and enter into their Father's house, into their 
Father's heart. This is what is put before them, freely, 
unconditionally. Does the word *' unconditionally" 
cause diflficulty? Is it said — "Is not to be reconciled 
to comply with a condition?" Yes, such a condition as 
drinking of the water of life is in relation to living. 
Not in any other sense a condition, — not assuredly as 
giving the right to drink, for that is the grace revealed, 
the grace wherein we stand. But as to wrath, and 
safety from wrath, if questions arise, it is a proof that 
what is presented is not understood. " He that believ- 
eth skall not come into condemnation, but hath passed 
from death unto life." 

The peace-speaking power of the blood of Christ 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 213 

is to be conceived of as a direct power on the spirit iu 
its personal relation to the Father of spirits, revealing 
at once the heart of the Father, and the way into the 
heart of the Father, even the Son. The blood that 
reveals this much imparts peace, mates perfect aa 
pertains to the conscience, — ^yea, purges it from dead 
works to serve the living God. Indeed, that the rela- 
tion of that blood to God's law, and the honour it ren- 
dered to that law, have had, as we have seen, a direct 
reference to our receiving the adoption of sons, implies 
that it has not come directly between man and judg- 
ment, or taken him, by the fact of its being shed, from 
beneath the righteous rule of God; and, therefore, that 
it ministers no peace, being rejected — but, on the con- 
trary, only a fearful looking for of judgment, so assu- 
redly giving no place for the direct confidence, "He 
suffered, therefore I shall not suffer." 

But, apart from the fact that the shedding of the 
blood of Christ had its direct reference to the perfecting 
of the conscience, and the reconciling us to God truly 
and spiritually as the Father of our spirits, is not the 
idea of a direct immunity from judgment, the idea of a 
ground of peace in the thought of judgment which may 
be contemplated by us as ours, so jbo speak, antecedent 
to our being reconciled, — a legal reconciliation to be 
rested on antecedent to a spiritual reconciliation, — in- 
consistent with giving our alienation from God its true 
place as the great evil and what must be directly dealt 
with ? — And is there not, however terrible the thought, 
yet is there not in the very sense of gratitude for the 
mercy which is believed to be in such a direct deliver- 
ance from wrath to come, a source of delusion as to our 
true interest, our true well-being? Does it not tend 
to confirm in us the tendency to lose the Father of our 
spirits in the moral governor, and so to misunderstand^ 



214 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OP THE FIXED 

as in that case we must do^ the ends of His moral 
government? Does it not tend to smother in us the 
cry of the orphan spirit for its long lost Father? Does 
it not take from God the attribute that life hes in His 
favour, — making Him important to us because of what 
He has to bestow, and not because of what He feels 
towards us viewed in itself, and as the feeling of the 
Father to His offspring ? 

Nor is there any room for feeling as if some lower 
ground should be taken at first, and in tenderness to 
newly-awakened sinners. We cannot too soon present 
the Father to them. We cannot too soon lay their 
weakness on the everlasting arms of the Eternal Love. 
To furnish them, in accommodation to their darkness, 
with any ground of confidence towards God, other than 
what the Son has revealed as the heart of the Father, 
would be to seal them in that darkness, and to counter- 
act the end of that revelation. No doubt the words, 
'^ No man cometh unto the Father but by me," which 
reveal that fixed constitution of things to which our ' 
vague hope of salvation must conform, or cease, were 
spoken to the chosen companions of our Lord's path, 
and towards the close of His personal ministry, but 
they express the manner of Gospel which had breathed 
from His life all along. And so these gracious words 
to all the *Veary and heavy laden" — "Come unto me, 
and I will give you rest," are both spoken in immediate 
reference to what He had just declared, "No man 
knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomso- 
ever the Son shall reveal Him," — clearly teaching that 
the promised rest would be found in knowledge of the 
Father ; and, more, are followed by the clear intimation 
that in their participation of Himself as their hfe, par- 
ticipating in what He was, was the Son to be to men 
the channel of this rest-giving knowledge of the Father 






AND NECESSARY CHARACTER Or SALVATION. 215 

— " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for I am 
meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto 
your souls." 

The nature of that hope which was in God for man^ 
and which the atonement has brought within the reach 
of our spirits, has indeed been necessarily determined 
by our ultimate and primary relation to God as the 
Father of ou:r spirits. And we must take all our prcr 
.conceptions to this light, and more especially those 
thoughts of God as the moral governor of the universe, 
in which the divine fatherliness has been left out of 
account, and to which is to be referred men's listening 
to the gospel simply as those who were under the law, 
and not as God's oflfepring. When the Apostle argues, 
Gal. iii. 17, that ^Hhe covenant which was confirmed 
before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hun- 
dred and thirty years after, cannot disannul," he deals 
with the legalism with which he was contending on a 
principle which may guide us here. If we recognise in 
the words, "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh hving 
be justified," a reference to that universal law under 
which all men are, and in relation to which God has 
concluded both Jew and Gentile alike as all under sin ; 
if we take this universal ground in teaching justification 
by faith, then must we in vindicating the superiority of 
the gospel ascend to our original relation to the Father 
of our spirits, whose law it is that we have broken, and 
see that gospel in the Father's heart — ^that promise for 
man — that hope abiding for man in God — which the 
law could not disannul. Is it not thus that we are to 
understand the Apostle Peter when in the full light of 
redeeming love he says, "Wherefore let them that 
suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping 
of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful 
Creator"? We are justified in the ground we take in 



216 FTTRTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

ft 

teaching justification by faith^ only because in faith the 
hope which remained in God for man is apprehended, 
and, being apprehended, becomes in man a living hope 
towards God. 

I formerly complained of a subordinating of the 
gospel to the law. I am now contending for the due 
subordinating of the law to the gospel. When the 
Apostle says, " If there had been a law given which 
could have given life, verily righteousness should have, 
been by the law," it seems to me that he is speaking in 
the light of the subordination of the law to the gospel, 
for he is recognising the giving of life as what must he 
the end of God ; and, therefore, that our being taken 
from under the law, and placed under grace, has been 
in order that we should be alive to God. Therefore 
righteousness would not have been by faith any more 
than by the deeds of the law, had it not been because 
of the life which in faith is quickened in us. " He tha^ 
believeth hath passed from death unto life." It is in 
this view of faith that God the Father of spirits is just 
in justifying the ungodly who believe. These words I 
have considered before ; but, at the point at which we 
now stand, it seems to me that we are contemplating, 
as the justifying element in faith, not only not an im- 
putation, but that which is the most absolute opposite 
of an imputation, viz. life from the dead. 

Although the expression "justification by faith" be 
associated in our mind with all preaching of the atone- 
ment, the teaching of Luther is that alone of all the 
forms of thought on this subject considered above with 
which that expression really harmonises, for he alone 
have we found teaching that it is faith itself which God 
recognises as righteousness : and how excellent a man- 
ner of righteousness faith is in Luther's apprehension, 
and how righteous it is in 'God to count it righteous- 



AND NECESSART CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 217 

ness, has been sufficiently illustrated, even by the quo- 
tations to which I have Umited mysel£ In what he bo 
writes, the words of the Apostle, " was strong in faith, 
giving glory to God," are the text — ^the axiom, I should 
rather say — from which Luther reasons. That condi- 
tion of the human spirit in which most glory is given 
to God he regards as self-evidently the highest right- 
eousness, and that condition is faith. 

But the glory given to God m faith must be in pro- 
portion to the depth and fulness of the apprehension of 
what God is which faith embraces, and to which it re- 
sponds. In proportion, therefore, as God is revealed 
by the atonement, and as, in consequence, he that be- 
lieves is in the light of what God is, and by his faith 
trusts and glorifies God as He is, in that proportion is 
the righteousness of faith enhanced and exalted. ^^No 
man hath seen God at any time. The only-begotten 
Son, who dwelleth in the bosom of the Father, He hath 
declared Him." He that hath seen the Son hath seen 
the Father, and he who, seeing the Father in the reve- 
lation of Him by the Son, hath faith in Him as the 
Father,' attains the highest form of faith, — a faith 
which is the fellowship of the Son s apprehension of 
the Father — indeed, is sonship, — and utters itself in 
the cry, Abba, Father. This is its nature; this, what- 
ever its measure. 

But, when the subject of justification by faith takes 
this form in our thoughts, we have no longer any diffi- 
culty in recognising faith as ''the highest righteous- 
ness ;" for how can we otherwise conceive of that which 
is the fellowship of Christ's own righteousness, the 
righteousness given to us in the gift of Christ, who 
is "made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, 
and sanctification, and redemption"? 

I have intentionally kept before the reader's mind 



818 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

longer than was necessary for the simple expression of 
it, the distinction between contemplating the blood of 
Christ as shed with direct reference to the purging of 
our consciences from dead works to serve the living 
God, and contemplating it as shed with direct reference 
to our deUverance from the punishment of sin. In 
addition to the character of the whole Epistle to the 
Hebrews, as setting forth the weU-being of man as 
standing in his being an accepted worshipper, and, 
therefore, the atonement for sin needed as the shed- 
ding of blood that would make perfect as pertains to 
the conscience, I may recall to the reader the relation 
to righteous judgment in which the typical and ihQ 
antitypical shedding of blood are both represented in 
the words, "He that despised Moses' law died without 
mercy under two or three witnesses : of how much sorer 
punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, 
who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath 
counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was 
sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto 
the Spirit of grace?" But in dwelling as I have done 
upon the distinction between a man's not coming into 
condemnation, because the blood of Christ is known 
by him as a living way into the holiest, and, through 
the faith of it, he has passed from death unto life ; and 
a man's not coming into condemnation because the 
blood of Christ was shed for him, and the punishment 
of his sins borne by Christ, — my great anxiety has 
been to get to the right point of view in considering 
man's well-being, — that point from which God is seen 
as the fountain of life, in whose favour is life ; and, there- 
fore, the question of salvation is seen to be simply the 
question of participation in that favour as it is the out- 
going of a living love, the love of the Father's heart, 
and not as the mere favourable sentence of a judge and 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 219 

ruler^ setting the mind at ease in reference to the de^ 
mands of the law of His moral government. 

With this same purpose have I above entered as I 
have done into the questions connected with justifica- 
tion ; and if I have appeared to forget, as I have not 
for a moment done, the distinction made between jus- 
tification and sanctification, it is that I have hoped 
that the real spiritual truth that is in justification being 
once seen, the subject would take its right form in the 
mind of iteelf. That " righteousness " a^ a part of what 
Christ is said to be ^^ made of God unto us," has come 
to be dealt with on a principle entirely distinct from 
that on which men have dealt with "wisdom,*^ and 
^^sanctification," and "redemption," has been owing to 
the exigencies of a legal system ; but such an error has 
been possible only because it has not been seen that these 
are all alike elements of the eternal life which we have 
in Christ. For Christ is all these to us just in that 
He is our Hfe, nor otherwise than as living by Him are 
we "righteous" any more than we can otherwise be 
"wise," "holy," '* redeemed," that is, free men, — free 
with the liberty wherewith the Son of God maketh free. 

Nothing, indeed, has done more to confirm the 
mind in that tendency to seek in the atonement wh.at 
will come directly between us and the punishment of 
sin, instead of seeking in it the secret and the power of 
returning to God, — recognising sin and all misery as 
what are together left behind in returning to God, — than 
the distinction made between justification and sanctifi- 
cation, when justification is connected with a demand 
in the mind of our judge which may be met in an arbi- 
trary way, as by imputation or imagined transferred 
fruits of righteousness, while sanctification is recognised 
as having its necessity in the truth of things, in that 
without holiness no man shall see God : as if righteous* 



220 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

ness in man had no such relation to righteouHiess in 
God, as holiness in man has to holiness in God. 

As to the supposed necessity for God's imputing 
righteousness, that He may see us as perfectly ri^t- 
eous, why must our participation in Christ's right- 
eousness be the meeting of a demand for perfection, 
any more than our participation in His holiness, or 
His wisdom, or the freedom that is in Him? All is 
perfect in Him, and He, and His perfection, belong to 
us; but all in the same sense. But, when the right- 
eousness contemplated is understood to be the right- 
eousness of faith, of faith in the Father's heart as 
revealed by the Son, — of the faith, therefore, by which 
the hfe of sonship is quickened and sustained, — this 
demand for a legal perfection is seen to be altogether 
foreign to that with which we are occupied. The 
feeblest cry of the spirit of sonship is sure of a response 
in the Father's heart, being welcome from its own very 
nature, as well as for that of which it is the promise, 
as it is also the fruit : for it both comes from and grows 
into the perfect sonship which is in Christ. Confidence 
is of the essence of this cry, — ^hope in the fatherliness 
towards which is its outgoing. Reader, say, does it not 
jar with this cry, does it not mar its simplicity, its truth, 
to be required to pause and say, " I would cry to my 
Father, — I see His heart towards me, the Son reveals 
it, but I must remember that, to be justified in drawing 
near with confidence, I must think of myself as clothed 
by imputation with a perfect righteousness, because the 
Father of my spirit must see me as so clothed in order 
that He may be justified in receiving me to His 
fatherly heart?" Would not this thought mar the 
simplicity of the child's cry — ^would it not indeed alto-? 
gether change the essence of the confidence cherished ? 
But the thought of the righteousness which God has 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 221 

accepted in accepting Christ, the righteousness to 
which the words, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased, hear ye Him/' turn the mind, alto- 
gether encourages the child's cry in us, — ^indeed, is its 
source ; for to cherish, to utter that cry, is the spiritual 
obedience of the word, '* hear ye Him." But I almost 
repeat what I said before. Only, I hope that, in that 
light of the elements of the atonement in which justifi- 
cation is now before us, the oneness of the confidence 
which the faith of Christ's work quickens in us with 
the confidence in which He went before us in that path 
of life which He has opened up for us, and which He 
Himself is to us, will be more clearly recognised. 

I have now asked, why should the divine demand 
for righteousness in men, which God has Himself met 
and provided for by the gift of Christ, giving us in 
Him all things pertaining to life and to godliness, 
making us completie in Him, — why should this demand 
of the divine mind for righteousness be seen as met on 
another principle than that on which the demand for 
holiness is met ? All these demands are truly, fully met. 
Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil. But if, 
in connexion with all that varied perfection in humanity 
which is in the Son of God, all humanity may be dealt 
with, and is dealt with, by God, the preciousness of 
that perfection shedding its own glory over all human- 
ity, and being ever to the heart of the Father a pro- 
mise for all humanity, and if the heart of the Father 
waits in hope for our "growing up into Him in all 
things, which is the head even Christ," (Ephesians iv. 
1 5,) why should a fiction be introduced to give a cha- 
racter of perfection to our individual righteousness 
before God, which has no place in relation to our part 
in the other elements of the perfection that is in Christ? 
I have already expressed my conviction that that in us 



222 FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

which in full light welcomes this ordination of a king- 
dom in the hands of a mediator^ is what has^ in part at 
least, made the reception of this doctrine of the im^ 
putation of Christ's perfection to those who beUeve, 
possible. But in the light of the atonement the heart 
feels no need of any fiction for its peace. The con- 
fidence in the Father, which the revelation of the Father 
by the Son quickens, has its witness in itself, — ^its sanc- 
tion in its own nature. Its spiritual relation to that in 
God towards which it goes forth, justifies it to the con- 
science. For, in truth, it is but the due response to 
the Father testifying to us that He has given to us 
eternal life in the Son, — that testimony of God in the 
spirit, which being heard by us in the spirit, effectually 
calls us to the confidence of sonship. Therefore does 
one Apostle say, " if our hearts condemn us not, then 
have we confidence towards God," and another Apostle, 
"the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are 
the sons of God." And such expressions accord with 
what I have urged above, viz. that our knowledge that 
we are justified should be of the same spiritual nature 
with the true knowledge that we are sinners, and not 
be sought in that way of inference from the fact that 
we believe, combined with the doctrine that those that 
beUeve are justified, to which men have had recourse, 
and on which, indeed, they have necessarily been thrown 
when artificial conceptions of justification by faith have 
been adopted. 

That nothing artificial, but something the deep 
reality of which is proved in the consciousness of the 
individual justified, is contemplated in the beginning of 
the 8th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, it is im- 
possible to doubt. The misery recorded in the close 
of the 7th chapter is not more real, more a matter of 
consciousness, than the salvation for which thanks are 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 223 

rendered ; nor is the law of sin in the members causing 
that miseiy more a thing known by the individual than 
^' the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, which raakes 
free from the law of sin and death." Therefore, the 
freedom from condemnation, in other words, the justi- 
fication through being in Christ Jesus, spoken of, is 
clearly one with that cleansing by the blood of Christ, 
that purging of the conscience, on which I have dwelt 
so much ; nor can it be at all separated from that " ful^ 
fihnent of the righteousness of the law" in those '^who 
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," which the 
Apostle goes on to mention as the direct end which God 
has contemplated in sending His Son in the likeness of 
sinfril flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, and so condemn-:- 
ing sin in the flesh. The subjective character of this 
passage, — that is to say, the relation between freedom 
from condemnation and the condition of a man's own 
spirit which it recognises,-and the place which it ascribes 
to the law of the Spirit of the life that is in Christ in 
connexion with this freedom, that is, in connexion with 
justification, is too broadly marked to permit its being 
quoted in favour of the doctrine of justification by an 
imputation of righteousness. 

But the conditions of true peace of conscience must 
always be the same; and therefore, although the first 
verse of the fifth chapter is so quoted, we must believe 
that that in Christ, in respect of which thanks are ren- 
dered that ^' there is no condemnation to them who are 
in Christ Jesus," is present to the mind of the Apostle 
when he speaks of '^ peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ" in connexion with "being justified by 
faith." This language, indeed, occurs in immediate 
connexion with that reference to the glory given to 
God in the feith of Abraham, which sheds such clear 
light on the righteousness of God in recognising faith 



224 -FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE FIXED 

as rigfUeoitsness : while, in saying that faith shall be 
imputed to us for righteousness, '' if we believe on Him 
that raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead, who was 
delivered for our oflfences, and raised again for our justi- 
fication,'' the Apostle has brought before us that in God 
which the faith by which we are to glorify God must 
apprehend and trust. For justifying faith, in trusting 
God, does so in response to that mind of God in relation 
to man which is revealed to us in our being, by the grace 
of God, embraced in Christ's expiatory confession of our 
sins, when, by the grace of God, He tasted death for 
every man ; and embraced in that perfect righteousness 
of .sonship in humanity which Christ presented to the 
Father on behalf of all humanity as the true righteous- 
ness of man, and which, in raising Him from the dead, 
the Father has sealed to us as our true righteousness. 
This gracious mind of God in relation to us it is that 
our faith accepts and responds to ; for our faith is, in 
truth, the Amen of our individual spirits to that deep, 
multiform, all-embracing, harmonious Amen of hu* 
manity, in the person of the Son of God, to the mind 
and heart of the Father in relation to man, — the divine 
wrath and the divine mercy, which is the atonement. 
This Amen of the individual, in which faith utters 
itself towards God, gives glory to God according to the 
glory which He has in Christ; therefore does faith 
justify : and this justification is not only pronounced in 
the mind of God, who accepts the confidence towards 
Himself, which the faith of His grace in Christ has 
quickened in us, imputing it to us as righteousness, but 
is also testified to by the Spirit of truth in the con- 
science of him in whom this Amen is a living voice — 
a spiritual mind — the fellowship of that mind in the 
Son of God by the faith of which it is quickened. The 
Amen of the individual human spirit to the Amen of 



AND NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 225 

the Son to the mind of the Father in relation to man, 
is saving faith— trae righteousness,— being the living 
action, and true and right movement of the spirit of the 
individual man in the light of eternal life. And the 
certainty that God has accepted that perfect and divine 
Amen as uttered by Christ in humanity, is necessarily 
accompanied by the peaceful assurance that in utter-^ 
ing, in whatever feebleness, a true Amen to that high 
Amen, the individual who is yielding himself to the 
spirit of Christ to have it uttered in him, is accepted of 
God. This Amen in man is the due response to that 
word, ^' Be ye reconciled to God ; " for the gracious and 
gospel character of which word, as the tenderest plead- 
ing that can be addressed to the most sin-burdened 
spirit, I have contended above. This Amen is son- 
ship; for the gospel-call, ''Be ye reconciled to God," 
when heard in the light of the knowledge that ''God 
made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we 
might be made the righteousness of God in Him,*' is 
understood to be the call to each one of us on the part 
of the Father of our spirits, — " My son, give me thine 
heart," — addressed to us on the ground of that work 
by which the Son has declared the Father's Name, that 
the love wherewith the Father hath loved Him may 
be in us, and He in us. In the light itself of that 
Amen to the mind of the Father in relation to man 
which shines to us in the atonement, we see the rights 
eousness of God in accepting the atonement^ and in that 
same light the Amen of the individual human spirit to 
that divine Amen of the Son of God, is seen to be 
what the divine righteousness will necessarily acknow-* 
ledge as the end of the atonement accomplished. 

I have illustrated above the distinction between the 
righteousness of faith and self-righteousness, and the 
way in which faith excludes boasting, while introducing 

CAMPB. 15 



226 THE NECESSARY CHARACTER OF SALVATION. 

US into the light of God's favour, and have antici- 
pated what would have been urged with advantage 
here as the justification of God in accounting faith 
righteousness. I only add now, that, as in illustrating 
the elements of the atonement, I have desired that 
the reader should see by its own light the suitableness 
and adequacy of the moral and spiritual expiation for 
sin which Christ has made, and should see all such 
expressions as "A way into the hoUest," — ^^Propitia- 
tion," — "Reconciliation," — "Peace with God," — in that 
light of our spiritual relation to the Father of our 
spirits which demands for them a spiritual, as distin- 
guished from a mere legal meaning; — so, now, I have 
sought for "Justification by faith," also, a spiritual and 
self-evidencing character, and that the attitude towards 
God of a human spirit in the Hght of that will of God 
which the Son of God came to do and has done, and 
cherishing a confidence towards God in harmony with 
that light, shall be felt to be the right attitude towards 
God of the spirit of man, — that in which are combined, 
God's glory in man and man's salvation in God. 

I have sought for justification by faith this self- 
evidencing character, not fearing by this to open the 
door for a self-righteous and presumptuous confidence, 
— believing that the true confidence alone can preclude 
the false in all its measures and forms. The Amen of 
faith, — the being reconciled to God, — ^peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, — ^these, in meekness 
and lowliness, are known in the light of the atonement* 
For that light of eternal life harmonises us with itself, 
and so with God, — and in it, it is impossible to trust in 
self, — ^it is impossible not to trust in God, — it is impos-« 
sible to doubt that this trust in God is true righteous- 
ness, — it is impossible to doubt that God is just in 
being the justifier of him that beUeveth in Jesus. 



ij 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT IN THE 
ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PRAYER. 

TN recognising at the outset a need-be for the atone- 
-*- ment, I sought to separate between what is sound 
and true in the feelings of awakened sinners, and what 
is to be referred to their remaining spiritual darkness. 
At the same time I have desired that we should be in 
the position of learning from the atonement itself why- 
it was needed, as well as how it has accomplished that 
for which it was needed. , The error which in its grossest 
form has amounted to representing the Son as by the 
atonement exercising an influence over the Father to 
make Him gracious towards us, (but which, even when 
such a thought as this would be disclaimed, has still led 
to seeking in the atonement a ground of confidence 
towards God distinct from what it has revealed as the 
mind of God towards man,) has become very manifest 
in the light of the nature of the atonement as a fulfil- 
ling of the purpose of the Son, " Lo, I come to do thy 
will, O God,"— His ''declaring of the Father's Name.'* 
In the light of that will as fulfilled, — that Name as 
declared, our faith has been raised to the Eternal Will 
itself thus revealed, to the Unchanging Name thus 
declared : as the Apostle speaks of those that believe 
in Christ as those ''who by Him do believe in God, 
who raised Him from the dead, and gave Him glory ; that 
our faith and hope might be in God." i Peter i. 2 1. Yet 
it .seems to me that in this high spiritual region some of 
the diflSculties which we experience in all our deeper 
meditations on the ways of God, are more realised when 

15—2 



228 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT 

we are fully delivered from the error to which I have 
now referred than they were before. I say this, con- 
templating especially the aspect of the atonement as a 
dealing of the Son with the Father on our behalf — 
a mediation, an intercession. I have spoken of the 
nature and ground of this intercession — its combination 
with the confession of our sins, and its relation to our 
Lord's own consciousness in humanity — His experience 
of sonship in humanity — His experience of abiding in 
humanity in the Father's favour. But a more close 
consideration of what is implied in intercession as in- 
tercession seems called for — ^a more close consideration, 
that is, of the hope for man in which the Son of God 
made His soul an offering for sin, as that hope was a 
hope in God, sustained by faith and prayer. 

We are so much in the way of looking on the work 
of Christ as the acting out of a pre-arranged plan, that 
its character as a natural progress and development, in 
which one thing arises out of another, and is really 
caused by that other, is with difficulty realised. Yet 
we must get deliverance from this temptation, — the 
painful temptation to think of Christ's work as almost a 
scenic representation, — otherwise we never can have the 
consciousness of getting the true knowledge of eternal 
realities from the atonement. All hght of life for us 
disappears from the life of Christ unless that life be to 
us a life indeed, and not the mere acting of an assigned 
part. Unless we realise that in very truth Christ loved 
us as He did Himself, we cannot understand how near 
an approach to a personal feeling there has been in His 
feeling of our sins, and of our misery as sinners. Unless 
we realise that His love to Himself and to us was the 
love of one who loved the Father with all His heart, 
and mind, and soul, and strength, we cannot under- 
stand the nature of the burden which our sins were to 



/ 



I 



IN THE ATONEMENT^ CONSIDERED AS PRAYER: 22J> 

Hiaiy what it was to His heart that we were to the 
Father rebellious children, or how certainly nothing 
could satisfy His heart as a redemption for us, but that 
we should come to follow God as dear children in the 
fellowship of His own sonship. Unless we contemplate 
His sense of our sin, and His desire to accomplish for 
us this great salvation, as livingly working in Him and 
practically influencing Him, we cannot understand how 
truly He made His soul an offering for sin, when, re- 
ceiving into Himself the full sense of the divine con- 
demnation of sin. He dealt on behalf of man with the* 
ultimate and absolute root of judgment in God, pre- 
senting the expiation of the due confession of sin, and 
in so doing at once opening for the divine forgiveness 
a channel in which it could freely flow to us, — and 
for us a way in which we could approach God. And, 
finally, unless we apprehend the encouraging consi- 
derations by which the love of Christ was sustained ia 
making this expiatory offering, — unless we have present 
to our minds His faith in the deep yearnings of the 
Father's heart over men His offspring, joined with His 
own conscious experience in humanity, which testified 
that these yearnings could be satisfied — unless we con- 
ceive to ourselves how naturally and necessarily these 
thoughts took the form of prayer, laying hold of that 
hope for man which was in God^ — ^unless, as it were, we 
hear the intercession thus made for man, and see the 
grounds on which it proceeds, we cannot understand 
what is made known to us of the Name of God by the 
success of this pleading on our behalf, — ^we cannot see 
how this appeal to the heart of the Father becomes in 
being responded to the full revelation of the Father to 
us, and that in proportion as we apprehend the nature 
and grounds of that intercession, and realise that it has 
been perfectly responded to, we know the grace whereia 



230 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT 

we stand; — what that faith in God is to which we are 
called, what the grounds are on which we are to put 
our trust in Him. Faith must make us present to the 
work of our redemption, in its progress as weU as in its 
result, so that the love which is working for us — the 
difficulties which that love encounters — the way in 
which it deals with them — the salvation which it ac- 
complishes — all may shed their light on our spirits and 
be to us the light of life. 

But the faith that makes this history a reality to 
our spirits, while difficult as to every part of this reali- 
sation, is most difficult when we are occupied with that 
intercession of Christ which is the perfecting element 
in the atonement, — making it literally an offering. It 
is not so difficult to realise how to the perfect holiness 
and love which were in Christ our sins should be so 
heavy a burden, — nor is it difficult to realise His inter- 
course with the Father while He bore our sins on His 
spirit, as that response to the Father's mind concerning' 
them which has now been represented as an expiatory 
confession of our guilt. We also easily see how the 
Saviour's own conscious experience in humanity, doing 
His Father's commandments, and abiding in His love, 
would both determine the character of the redemption 
which He would seek for us, and be an element in His 
hope towards God for us, — b, hope which He would 
cherish in conscious oneness with His Father. But when 
we consider Christ's hope for man as taking the form 
of intercession, — and see that His knowledge of the 
Father's will is so far from suggesting an inactive wait- 
ing in the expectation that all will necessarily be as the 
Father wills, that on the contrary, that knowledge only 
moves to earnest pleading and entreaty, — the hope che- 
rished seeking to realise itself by laying hold in a way 
of prayerful trust on that in the heart of the Father by 



IN THE ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PEAYER. 231 

which it is encouraged, — ^then the difficulty that always 
haunts us as to the ordinance of prayer — ^the difficulty, 
I mean, of the idea of God's interposing prayef between 
His own loving desire for us and the fulfilment of that 
desire, instead of fulfilling that desire without waiting 
to be entreated — this difficulty is felt to be present 
with our minds in this highest region in which the Son 
is represented as by prayer, and intense and earnest and 
agonising prayer, obtaining for us from the Father what 
the Father has infinitely desired to give — what He has 
given in giving Him to us as our Redeemer, to whose 
intercession it is yielded. Here we have the divine 
love in Christ pleading with the divine love in the 
Father, and thus obtaining for us that eternal life, 
which yet in giving the Son to be our Saviour, the 
Father is truly said to have given. The difficulty is that 
which haunts us in our own prayers, but it is the same, 
and no other; and if we are enabled to deal rightly 
with it as it meets us here, it will be an increase of 
practical freedom to us in our individual walk with 
God. 

What I have now been attempting has been to see 
and trace the atonement by its own light, viz. the light 
of the life which was taking form in it according to the 
words, '^ In Him was life, and the life was the light of 
men." Proceeding in this way the intercession of Christ 
has presented itself as a form which His love must 
naturally take. That it would take the form of desiring 
for us what His intercession asked for us, was quite 
clear. But we could not conceive of that desire as 
cherished in conscious weakness and dependence on the 
Father, and yet in conscious oneness with the Father, 
without conceiving of it as uttering itself to the Father 
in prayer. With all the weight of all our need upon 
His spirit — bearing our burden — that He should cast 



232 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT 

this burden upon the Father, appeared the perfection 
of sonship towards the Father, and brotherhood towards 
us. And as this mtercession seemed a natural form 
for the love of Christ to take, so did it seem what must 
be to the Father a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour — 
and we felt that no aspect of the perfect sonship in 
humanity which the life of Christ presented to the 
Father, could be more welcome to the heart of the 
Father than that of love to men. His brethren, as thus 
perfected in intercession; especially as being interces- 
sion for brethren who also were enemies, making the 
intercession to be the perfection of forgiving love. This 
indeed was to God, who is love, a sacrifice of a sweet- 
smelling savour from humanity, which must have been 
infinitely grateful in itself; while as part of the perfection 
that was in Christ, this intercession was a most excellent 
part of that promise for humanity in respect of which 
Christ's perfection is to be contemplated as pleading 
for humanity. Any father who has ever been privileged 
to have one child pleading for forgiveness to another 
child, for an offence which has been unkindness to the 
interceding child himself, has here some help to his 
faith in his own experience. 

But though all this is felt by us to be natural, and 
what arises out of the life of love which was in Christ, 
yet, approaching it not by this path, but by the path of 
meditation on Christ as the gift of the Father, — medita- 
tion on all that interest in us which Christ's love is feel- 
ing, and under the power of which it is interceding, as 
already in the Father and already desiring to impart all 
that Christ is asking for us — nay, as having really be- 
stowed it in the gift of Christ — the difficulty of which I 
have spoken suggests itself. We ask, how has this inter- 
cession been necessary ? We ask, how Christ should have 
felt it necessary ? A Christian philosopher of our own 



IN THE ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PRAYER. 233 

time has said that whereas once he had thought of 
prayer as the expression of a want of faith in God's 
goodness, he afterwards came to understand that prayer 
was the highest expression of faith in God's goodness* 
Assuredly He who came to make known the goodness 
of God, and that towards us men it is the highest 
form of goodness, even fatherliness, — ^that which on a 
superficial view might seem most to supersede all 
asking — all prayer, — leaving room only for thanksgiving 
and praise — He has been as distinguished by the depth 
and intensity of His praying to the Father as of His faith 
in the Father's fatherUness: nor is there any part of 
His testimony for the Father as He was the witness for 
God, more marked than His testimony, that God is the 
hearer and answerer of prayer. In Him we see that 
knowledge of the Father's will, and confidence in His 
love, supersede not prayer, but, on the contrary, only 
move to prayer, giving strength for it — making it the 
prayer of faith and hope and love — love perfected in 
thus flowing back to its own fountain. The fact of 
Christ's "intercession for the transgressors" accords with 
and confirms what we feel in meditating on the life of 
love that was in Him, viz. that such intercession was 
the fitting form for His bearing of our burdens to take, 
what in the light of the knowledge of the hope that 
was for us in God it must take ; while to give place to 
the thought of anytliing dramatic — the acting out of a 
pre-arranged part, in regard to that recorded interces- 
sion (and of which the measure indicated is infinitely 
beyond what is recorded), would be to lose all sense of 
life and reality in Christ. 

But let us try to approach this great and fundamen- 
tal fisLct in the history of our redemption really from 
God's side. Let us try to realise what we are contem- 
plating when we are rising to the contemplation of that 



234 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT 

hope for man which was in God antecedent to the 
atonement; and which the atonement has brought within 
the reach of our spirits. Let us see the love that man 
needs as in God before it has come forth in the atone- 
ment. Let us see the Fatherly heart as yet unrevealed — 
waiting to be revealed. Let us contemplate the Son as 
coming forth to reveal it. Let us distinguish between 
the purpose to reveal the Father's heart and a purpose 
to realise any predetermined train of events. Let us 
see, as that which is to be brought to pass, not certain 
facts, events, or circumstances thought of merely as 
such, but a knowledge of the heart of the Father 
brought within reach of us His offspring, — destroyed 
by the lack of this knowledge, but to whom ihis know- 
ledge will be salvation. Let us consider in this view 
the Son of God in humanity bearing upon His spirit 
our burden, and dealing with the Father concerning it; 
let us see all our need made visible to us in Christ's feel- 
ing of it, and let us listen to the cry of this need as 
ascending to the Father from Christ addressing itself 
to what the Father feels in relation to that need, and 
let us ask ourselves how but as the answer to that cry 
could that in the Father which answers that cry have 
been made known, or our need and that in the Father 
which meets our need have been revealed to us to- 
gether? It is the cry of the child that reveals the 
mother s heart. It is the cry of Sonship in humanity 
bearing the burden of humanity, confessing its sin, ask^ 
ing for it the good of which the capacity still remained 
to it, which being responded to by the Father has re- 
vealed the Father's heart. Without taking the form of 
that cry, the mind that was in Christ would have failed 
by all its other outgoings to declare the Father's name. 
There is nothing scenic or dramatic in this. Were 
such its nature it would be valueless. It would be 



IN THE ATONEMENT CONSIDBEED AS PRAYER, 235 

nothing, and could reveal nothing. But no feeling in 
the Son, no desire, no prayer, is other than what is 
natural and inevitable to holy love so placed. The 
response of the Father is in like manner a real response, 
and therefore the nature and character of the heart that 
responds is seen in the nature and character of that to 
which it responds. As that confession of man's sin is 
justly due, so the demand for it in God is real as well as 
His acceptance of it is gracious. As that intercession 
is a natural form of love in Him that intercedes, the 
response to that intercession is a natural form for the 
love addressed to take — its living and real outcoming. 
To say that what ascends to God from humanity has 
come from God, that God has Himself in the person 
of the Son furnished humanity with the pleading that 
would prevail with Him, that the life of Sonship is 
already in humanity antecedent to the atonement which 
it makes — this in no way affects the truth of the atone- 
ment as indeed the due and true expiation for sin, nor 
the truth of the grounds of the Intercessor's pleading as 
really the grounds on which the grace of God is ex- 
tended to men. 

We may indeed go further back : we may contem- 
plate the mere capacity of redemption that was in 
humanity as a cry, — a mute cry, but which still entered 
into the ear and heart of God; we may contemplate 
the gift of Christ as the divine answer to this cry, — ^but 
it is not the less true that when Christ, under our bur- 
den and working out our redemption, confesses before 
the Father the sin of man, and presents to the Father 
His own righteousness as the divine righteousness for 
man, and the Father in response grants to men remis- 
sion of sins and eternal life, that confession which 
humanity could not have originated but which the 
Son of God has made in it and for it, and that right- 



236 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT 

eousness which humanity could not itself present, but 
which the Son of God has presented in it and for it, are 
the grounds on which God really puts His own acting 
in the whole history of redemption. 

It is the tendency to deal with God as a fate, and 
with the accomplishment of the high designs of Hia 
grace for man simply as the coming to pass of prede- 
termined events, which is the real source of our diffi- 
culty in regard to prayer as a law and power in the 
kingdom of God, whether we think of it contemplating 
its place in the history of our redemption as the inter- 
cession of Christ, or as an element in our own life of 
sonship through Christ. In consequence of that ten- 
dency, "asking things according to the will of God" 
comes to sound like asking God to do what He in- 
tended to do, — a manner of prayer for which we have 
no light, — as it is a manner of prayer, indeed, which 
would be felt to be superseded by that very light as to 
the future which would make it possible. But God 
is not revealed to our faith as a fate, neither is His 
will set before us as a decree of destiny. God is re- 
vealed to us as the living God, and His will as the 
desire and choice of a living heart, which presents to us, 
not the image or picture of a predetermined course of 
events, to the predestined flow of which our prayer is 
to be an Amen, but a moral and spiritual choice in 
relation to us His offspring, to which our prayer is to 
respond in what will be in us the cry of a moral and 
spiritual choice. That knowledge of the Father which 
the prayer of Christ implied, — the knowledge of the 
Son who dwelleth in the bosom of the Father, was not 
the knowledge of a certain future, predestined and sura 
to be accomplished, but was the knowledge of the un-* 
changing will of the Father concerning man, — a will 
which in all rebellion is resisted, in all obedience of 



IN THE ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PRATER, 237 

love is fulfilled. If we are able to see and realise this 
distinction, we shall see the dealing of the Son with 
the Father on our behalf as that response to the mind 
of the Father in relation to us, which in our partici- 
pation in the spirit of the Son is to be continued and 
perpetuated in our own prayers. And, it seems to me, 
that these things mutually illustrate each other to us, 
I mean our own prayers in the spirit of sonship, and the 
great original intercession of the Son on behalf of all 
humanity which was to spread itself through humanity, 
and which we partake in as a part of the eternal hfe 
which we have in the Son of God. For that cry for 
things according to the Father's will, — that cry for holi- 
ness, and truth, and love, which is the cry of Christ's 
spirit in us, and which is not repressed or discouraged 
by the knowledge that it is according to the will of 
God, as if therefore it was superfluous, nay, is only 
quickened and sustained by that knowledge, may throw 
light to us upon the infinite intensity of that cry as in 
Christ on behalf of all humanity, — enabling us to under- 
stand that in Him it was infinitely intense just because 
of His perfect oneness of mind with the Father in re- 
gard to what He asked, and perfect knowledge of that 
will of the Father according to which the cry was. 
While, on the other hand, nothing is such a help against 
all temptation to deal with the living God as with a 
fate, and with His will as a decree, — which we are pas- 
sively to allow to take its course, instead of putting 
forth that prayerfiil trust which is the necessary link 
between His will for us and its fulfilment in us, — as the 
believing meditation of the place which prayer had in 
the work of Christ in accomplishing our redemption. 

And it is not merely in order that we may not come 
short in our realisation of the large place which prayer 
must have in our personal religion, if, when we attempt 



I 

238 THE INTERCESSION WHICH WAS AN ELEMENT i 

to follow God as dear children, we would really walk in 
the footsteps of the Son of God, that it is so important 
that we should realise the part which the intercession 
of Christ has in the atonement. Our doing so is, I 
would venture to say, even more needed in reference to 
the nature of our prayers, and that we may be found 
really praying according to the will of God, — ^according 
to the light of the gospel, — according to the knowledge 
that the true worshippers worship in spirit and in 
truth, for that the Father seeketh such to worship 
Him. Small as the amoimt of prayer is, its usual 
character is a still sadder subject of thought than its 
small amount. I mean its being so much a dealing 
with God simply as a Sovereign Lord, a Governor, and 
Judge, and so little a dealing with Him as the Father 
of our spirits. There is much feeling that ''power 
belongeth to God alone," combined with the encour- 
aging piersuasion that '' to Him also belongeth mercy " 
moving to prayer, and sustaining prayer, which yet is 
not enlightened and exalted by the knowledge of God 
as a Father, and the apprehension of our true well- 
being as all embraced in the sonship which we have in 
Christ. Reader, let me ask you, do you pray as a child 
of God whose first and nearest relationship is to God 
your Father, — whose most deeply felt interests are 
bound up in that relation, — in what lies within the 
circle of that relation contemplated in itself? do you 
pray as one to whom the mind of God towards you 
and your own mind towards Him are the most import- 
ant elements of existence, and whose other interests in 
existence are as outer circles around this central interest, 
— so that you see yourself, and your family, and your 
friends, and your country, and your race, with the eyes, 
because with the heart, of one who "loves the Lord 
his God with all his heart, and mind, and soul, and 



IN THE ATONEMENT CONSIDERED AS PRAYER. 239 

strength?" Is this at least your ideal for. yourself, what 
you are seeking to realise, — to realise for its own sake, 
— not for any consequences of it in time or eternity? 
for whatever the blessed consequences of its realisation 
will be, they shall be far, and for ever inferior and 
secondary to itself. 



CHAPTEK X. 

THE ATONEMENT, AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE DETAILS OF 

THE SACRED NARRATIVE. 

REGARDING the atonement as the development 
of the life that was in Christ, I have now consi- 
dered its nature in the light of that life, — and the 
unity of a life has, I trust, been felt to belong to the 
exposition offered. But the life of Christ had an ex- 
ternal history, and took an outward form, from the suc- 
cessive circumstances in which our Lord was placed, 
from the manger to the cross, according to the divine 
ordering of his path. And while this history can only 
be understood in the light of that inward life of which 
it has been the outward form, the contemplation of the 
outward form must help our understanding of the in- 
ward life ; and if the view taken of the nature of the 
atonement be the true view, must both confirm it and 
illustrate it. 

We are thus prepared to find the outward course of 
life appointed for the Son of God, as that in which He 
was to fulfil the purpose of doing the Father's will, de- 
termined by the divine wisdom with special reference 
to that purpose. Another condition, also, we expect 
to find fiilfiUed in the circumstances in which the Son is 
seen witnessing for the Father, viz. that they shall accord 
with the testimony of the Father to the Son. The 
witnessing of the Son for the Father would have mani- 
festly been incomplete as to us without the Father's 
seal to it. But this sealing was an essential part of 
the divine counsel, — not only that outward testimony, 
however solemn and authoritative, which was in the 



THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED, &C. 241 

words of the angel to Mary, the voice from heaven at 
the Lord's baptism by John, and again on the mount, 
but that also to which these special testimonies of the 
Father to the Son in humanity direct our minds, viz. 
that testimony of the Father to the Son in the Spirit 
which always is, and out of which all responsibility for 
faith in the Son of God arises, being that on which 
such faith must idtimately rest. With this testimony 
of the Father to the Son, as well as with the witnessing 
of the Son for the Father, the divine ordering of our 
Lord s path would necessarily accord ; so that, however 
the aspect of that path, judged according to the flesh, 
might seem in contradiction to the words, '^ This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,*' seen in the 
light of God it woidd be known to harmonise with 
that acknowledgment. What would accord with the 
Father's testimony to the Son must manifestly be one 
with what would accord with the Son's honouring of 
the Father in our sight; so that we have not really 
here two conditions to be fulfilled, . but one only ; nor 
does the need-be that there should be fitting scope for 
the manifestation of brotherhood in relation to men, 
add any new element, seeing the unity of sonship to- 
wards God and brotherhood towards men. But it is 
important that we approach the consideration of the 
course of our Lord s life, realising that we are to con- 
template it in relation equally to the Father's acknow- 
ledgment of the Son, and to the Son's witnessing for 
the Father, — " No man knoweth who the Son is but 
the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and he 
to whom the Son will reveal Him." 

This, therefore, is the aspect in which we are to 
contemplate the actual history of the work of redemp- 
tion. We are to contemplate it as the Son's witnessing 
for the Father by the manifestation of sonship towards 

CAMPB. 16 



242 THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE 

Ood and brotherhood towards men^ in circumstances 
which divine wisdom ordained with reference to the 
perfection of that manifestation, and which we are to 
see in the Ught of the Father's testimony to the Son. 

As our Lord "increased in wisdom and in stature," 
so the elements of the atonement gradually developed 
themselves with the gradual development of His hu- 
manity, and corresponding development of the eternal 
life in His humanity. The sonship in Him was always 
perfect sonship. At no one moment could He have said 
more truly than at another, "The Son doeth nothing 
of Himself ; but whatsoever things the Father doeth, 
the same doeth the Son likewise." But submitting at 
once, both to the Father's inward sfuidance, '^ opening: 
His ear as the learner, morning brmoming," ^d to 
ffis outward guidance, "not hiding His face from 
shame and spitting," Christ's inward life of love to 
His Father and love to His brethren was constantly 
acted upon by the circumstances appointed for Him, 
receiving its perfect development through them : so that, 
tracing our Lord's Ufe as thus a visible contact with 
men, while an invisible abiding in the bosom of the 
Father, and endeavouring to realise the bearing and 
operation of outward things upon His inward Ufe, we 
may expect the light of the atonement to shine forth to 
us with increased clearness, as the light of that life 
which is the light of men. 

We are not told much of the course of our Lord's 
life before He entered on His public ministry ; we may 
say we have its general character in the words. He 
"increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour 
with God and man^ His doing of the Father's will, 
His following God as a dear child, had then that 
attraction in the eyes of men, which goodness often has, 
while it commends itself to men's consciences without 



DETAILS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. 243 

making any positive demand upon themselves. And 
this record concerning our Lord, — that at this time, 
and while His life was to men's eyes the simple filling 
of His place in relation to Joseph and Mary, and His 
kindred and neighbours, according to the perfect form 
of childhood and youth in a young Hebrew, He had 
the acknowledgment of human favour, — should put us 
on our guard against hastily concluding that the favour 
of men may not even now, in certain circumstances, 
follow the favour of God. 

When, however, our Lord entered on His public min- 
istry, and the words which He spake, and the miracles 
which He wrought, constrained men to attend to and 
consider the demand which He made for His Father, 
and the condemnation on men which that righteous 
demand implied, — we see the darkness soon disturbed 
by the light, and beginning to manifest its enmity to 
the light. Yet neither w^s this universal^and not 
only did some attach themselves to Him as immediate 
disciples and followers, but many more rejoiced in His 
teaching; and the response which His testimony had in 
their hearts, commanded an outward acknowledgment 
of Him, which indeed was so general and so strong, 
that those in whom enmity was most moved, were 
restrained as to the manifestation of their ill will by 
^' the fear of the people." How superficial the hearing 
was with which the great multitudes that followed Him 
listened to His words, we know, both from His own 
care to warn them of the cost of discipleship, (Luke xiv. 
25 — 33,) which He saw they were not counting, and 
from the subsequent history of that favour, when the 
cry "Hosannah to the Son of David" so soon gave place 
to the cry, '^Crucify Him, crucify Him." But doubtless 
between those who, as Peter says of himself and the rest, 
"forsook all and followed Him," and those who early 

16 — 2 



244 THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE 

set themselves against Him, knowing that His word 
condemned them, and that the acceptance of His teach- 
ing with the people would be the subverting of their own 
consequence and influence, there were many shades of 
feeling, — the internal witness in men's hearts to the out- 
ward word of Him who spake as never man spake, being 
dealt with in many diflFerent measures of reverence and 
rebeUion. On the whole, however, for a time, the power 
of evil came forth but in measure ; and though He could 
early say, " I honour my Father, and ye dishonour me," 
and though so much of even what was of another cha- 
racter was to Him who knew what was in man, but a 
shew of good which did not deceive Him, yet it was but 
gradually and towards the close, that He had to taste 
in all its bitterness that enmity to God to which He 
was exposing Himself in coming to men in His Father's 
name. The public ministry of the Lord, with its mixed 
character of favour and dishonour, of loud acclamations 
of those who at the least believed Him to be a teacher 
sent from God, and secret machinations of enemies 
whose malice could not calculate enough on sympathy 
to make its expression safe, was ordered of God to 
continue for a time ; and " no man could lay hands on 
Him, for His hour was not yet come. " 

It was however but a brief time, much briefer than 
the previous period of private life, in which the favour 
of men was conjoined with the favour of God; and it 
was followed by another distinctly marked period, of 
which the character is the patient endurance of all the 
full and perfected development of the enmity, which the 
faithfulness of the previous testimony for the Father s 
name had awakened. This last is much the briefest 
division of our Lord's life on earth ; and its darkest por- 
tion is to be measured by days, or rather by hours : as 
if He who spared not His own Son, but gave Him to 



DETAILS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. 245 

the death for us, yet spared Him as much as possible, 
making the bitterest portion the briefest. 

We cannot doubt the importance of that portiori 
of the fiilfilment of the purpose, " Lo I come to do thy 
will," which constitutes the private life of our Lord, 
antecedent to His entering upon His public ministry. 
The scantiness of the record is no reason for doing so. 
We know how that scantiness has been attempted to 
be compensated by fictitious narratives, intended to 
meet the natural desire to know more of what was so 
large a proportion of our Lord's whole life on earth. 
But this has been a part of the error, of not seeing that 
that life itself, and that life cw it abides in His being 
who lived it, and not the mere written reco7'd of that life, 
is our unsearchable riches which we have in Christ. 
When the promise is fiilfilled to us, that the Comforter 
would take of that which is Christ's, and shew it unto 
us, this acting of the Comforter is not limited to what 
is recorded. He takes from the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge, stored up for all humanity in the 
humanity of the Son of God, — revealing the life of Him 
who "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet 
without sin," in its relation to our individual need, with 
that minuteness of application of which that life, thus 
revealed to us in the Spirit, is capable, but of which no 
written record could be capable. How many a little 
child, remembering that Jesus was once a little child, 
and grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favour with 
God and man, and looking to Him for help according 
to the need felt in seeking to follow God as a dear 
child, and be in obedience to those related to him as 
Joseph and Mary were to the child Jesus, has found 
his trust met, and felt no want of "a gospel of the 
infancy of Jesus. " Let the divine favour, testified as 
resting upon that first portion of our Lord's life, sanctify 



246 THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE 

to our hopes private life, — ^the large proportion of the 
life of all, the whole of the life of most ; and let us see 
that on which that favour rested, as a part of the eter- 
nal life given to us in the Son of God, which is to be 
God's glory in us in private life, a store from which to 
receive all that pertains to life and godliness as we are 
individual Christians, — as truly as His life as a preacher 
of the kingdom of God, is that to a special participation 
in which those who are called in this to walk in His 
steps, are to look, — as truly as His witnessing before 
Pontius Pilate a good confession, is for strength ac- 
cording to their need, to those who are called to suffer 
as martyrs for His name. 

As to our Lord's personal ministry, its distinguish- 
ing character is to be seen in this, that that ministry 
was the batcoming of t?ie life of sonship. By this cha- 
racter of a life was His ministry distinguished from that 
of all who were only "teachers sent from God." In 
this respect was it that He spake as never man spake. 
What He spake, as what He did, was a part of what 
He was. His words were spirit and life, and not a 
mere testimony concerning life. As now in the inner 
man of our being, when the Son of God is known 
as present in us claiming lordship over our spirits, 
there is a testimony of the Father to the Son in the 
Spirit, which in calling Jesus Lord we are welcoming, 
so we cannot deubt that then in Judea the man Jesus, 
in His living witnessing as the Son for the Father, 
had a testimony of the Father borne to Him, which 
men heard according as they welcomed the teaching 
of God. Tliis testimony was a testimony to what He 
was, to the life that was shining forth in His deeds and 
words. And the unconscious sense of this has mani-' 
festly gone beyond the intelligent recognition of it; 
so that we find miBn unable to resist the authority and 



DETAILS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. 247 

power with which He spake, even though not behold- 
ing, as the disciple did, ''His gloiy as the glory of the 
Only-begotten of the Father." 

Unless we realise this, and that that was presented 
to men's faith, if they could receive it, which pertained 
to one who could say, in reference to His own conscious 
Ufe, " I am the light of the world," we cannot enter into 
that immediate presenting to men of what He Himself 
was as the Gospd^ which we have seen in the words, 
" Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest.... Learn of me; for I am meek 
and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto your 
souls." And in that testimony as to who are "blessed," 
with which the discourse which we call the Sermon 
on the Mount opens, we are to recognise the same 
thing. All these declarations as to the blessedness 
of the several conditions of spirit which our Lord there 
specifies, are rays of the Ught of the life that was in 
Him ; and will be such to us, being heard as utterances 
of that life, — utterances of Christ's own consciousness in 
humanity, a part of His confessing the Father before 
men, being testimonies in humanity to the blessedness 
of sonship in doing the Father's wiU. 

Accordingly the whole discourse keeps the Father 
before us. The foundation of every counsel is our filial 
relation to God. All is in harmony with the prayer 
which He teaches, putting the words, '' Our Father," in 
our lips, and adding, as the first petitions which we are 
to present, the expression of an interest in the Father's 
"name" and "kingdom" and "will,'^ — ^an interest which, 
if these petitions are to proceed from unfeigned lips, 
must imply our participation in that life of sonship which 
is pr^ented to us in Him who teaches us so to pray. 

Nor are we to leave out of accoimt in contem- 
plating our Lord's ministry as giving glory to the 



248 THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE 

Father in being manifested sonship, that not only was I 

this in our nature and in our circumstances, but that 
the consciousness of its being so, and the full know- 
ledge of the amount of the demand made on us when 
called to learn of Him, is distinctly expressed, — the 
knowledge that to call on us to follow Him, is to call 
upon us to take up the cross. When we in very truth 1 

betake ourselves to Him as to that high-priest who is 
"touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was 
in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," 
and who "in that He Himself hath suffered, being 
tempted, is able to succour us when we are tempted," 
we then learn to value the tone of full conscious enter- 
ing into the amount of the demand which He makes 
upon men in calling upon them to hate their life in 
this world, which pervades our Lord's teaching equally 
with the consciousness of being Himself living that life 
in the Father's favour which He is commending. 

But that Ufe of which our Lord's ministry was 
thus the living outcoming, in the consciousness of 
which He testified who are blessed, in the conscious- 
ness of which He declared to the weary and heavy 
laden what is the true rest, — speaking to us also in 
all this as our very brother, — that life needed, in order 
to its perfect development, as the light of life to us, 
to have the depth of its root in God — its power to 
overcome the world — the nature of its strength and 
victory — the weight of the cross which it bore in 
suffering flesh — ^revealed, as even the living teaching 
of the Lord's ministry did not reveal it. Therefore 
was that hour and power of darkness permitted which 
the closing period of our Lord's course presents, in 
which sonship towards the Father and brotherhood 
towards man have had their nature manifested and 
their power displayed to the utmost. 



DETAILS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. 249 

As the time drew near, the Lord prepared the 
disciples for this ho^r and power of darkness. " And 
Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples 
apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go 
up to Jerusalem ; and the Son of man shall be betrayed 
unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they 
shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him 
to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify 
Him ; and the third day He shall rise again/' (Matt. 
XX. 17, 18, 19.) His own feelings in looking forward 
to what, as to its outward form. He thus foretold, were 
such as to impress their minds with the most solemn 
anticipations, and His words then, so far as they are 
recorded, remain to us a portion of Scripture on which 
we meditate as bringing us near to a region of feeling 
into which we scarcely dare to venture : and yet these 
expressions of mental agony are recorded for our in- 
struction as belonging to that life of Christ which is 
the light of life to us. 

"I have a baptism to be baptised with; and how 
am I straitened till it be accomplished," Luke xii. 50. 
"Now is my soul troubled; save me from this hour: 
but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify 
thy name," John xii. 27. And even after the con- 
clusion which the words " For this cause came I to this 
hour" seem to express, when the awful hour was close 
at hand, it again became the subject of earnest pleading 
with the Father, — ^pleading, the earnestness of which, 
while it reveals to us the measure of the apprehended 
bitterness of the cup, and terror of the hour to which it 
refers, makes a demand upon our faith as to the reality 
of life which was in our Lord's prayers, and how truly, 
in dealing with the Father, He dealt with a living wiU 
and heart, and not with a fate, which blessed are those 
who are able truly and fully to respond to. " And they 



250 THE ATONEMENT AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE 

came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and 
He saith to His disciples, Sit ye. here, while I shafl 
pray. And He taketh with Him Peter and James 
and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be 
very heavy ; and saith unto them. My soul is exceeding 
sorrowftd unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And 
He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and 
prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass 
from Him. And He said, Abba, Father, all things 
are possible unto thee; take awsij this cup from me: 
nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.'* 
Mark xiv. 33 — 36. ''And being in an agony He 
prayed more earnestly : and His sweat was as it were 
great drops of blood falling down to the ground." 
Luke xxii. 44. 

In this awfully intense prayer we have to mark its 
alternative nature, and that the latter part was as truly 
prayer as the former : the former uttering the true 
and natural desire to which He was conscious as con- 
templating that which was before Him in the weakness 
and capacity of suffering proper to suffering flesh ; the 
latter uttering the desire of the spirit of sonship, being 
that which was deepest, and to which the other, while 
consciously realised, was perfectly subordinated. 

After being offered the third time, our Lord's 
prayer was answered, and the mind of the Father, which 
was the response to His cry, was revealed to Him in the 
Spirit, He was not to be spared the dreaded hour. The 
cup was not to pass from Him ; and therefore, in that 
truth of sonship in which He had said, ''Nevertheless 
not as I will, but as thou wilt," the Father's will was 
welcomed, the bitter cup was received from the 
Father's hand as the Father's handy and in the strength 
of so'iiship the Lord drank it. " And He cometh the 
third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and 



DETAILS OF THE SACRED NARRATITB. 251 

take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behx>ldy 
the Son of mem is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 
And immediatelyy while He yet spahe, cometh Judas^ 
one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with 
swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes 
and the elders." Mark xiv. 41, 43. "Then Simon 
Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high 
priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. Then said 
Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath : 
the cup which my Father hath given me to drink, shaU I 
not drink it?'^ To those who had come with Judas He 
said, " When I was daily with you in the temple, ye 
stretched forth no hands against me : but this is your 
hour, and the power of darkness.'' Luke xxii. 53. 

The precise point of time at which the anticipated 
hour and power of darkness had its commencement is 
thus clearly indicated, — the moment in which the cup, 
in reference to which He had prayed, was put into our 
Lord's haod, — the moment at which the baptism began, 
as to which He was straitened until it should be ac- 
complished. And I ask attention to this, because the 
record clearly separates between the actual experience 
which these expressions, "hour," — "cup," — "baptism," 
refer to, and the agony in the garden, in which that 
experience was only anticipated, being still the sub- 
ject of the prayer, if it were possible, that it should not 
be, as well as of the prayer that if the Father so willed, 
it should be. 

The history of the hour and power of darkness, now 
come, follows, and is given with a fulness of detail 
commensurate with its importance; while it is widely 
separated from all recorded suffering of man from man 
by the preternatural circumstances that accompanied it ; 
circumstances which, in their awfulness, accorded with 
that relation which the sufferings of the sufferer bore 



252 THE ATONEMBNT AS ILLUSTRATED, &C. 

to the sin of man ; yet which, in their connexion with 
what was visible of Christ's bearing under His suffer- 
ings, had that character impressed upon them which 
drew from the Boman centurion the acknowledgment, 
"Truly this was the Son of God." 



CHAPTER XI. 

HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF THE SUFFERINGS OF 
CHRIST, DURING THAT CLOSING PERIOD OP WHICH 
SUFFERING WAS THE DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER. 

nPHE sufferings of Christ during the hour and power 
-■- of darkness have been dealt with in two quite oppo- 
site ways. 

I. They have been regarded in their simply phy- 
sical aspect ; and aid to the imagination and the heart 
in realising their terrible amount has been eagerly 
sought in pictured representations or picturing words ; 
and thus a lively feeling of the pain endured by our 
blessed Lord, under the hands of wicked men, has been 
cherished as a help in measuring the evil of our sins 
and our obligations to the Saviour. I am not afraid to 
regard all that was attained of knowledge of the suffer- 
ings of Christ in this way as only a knowing Christ 
after the flesh, and therefore what had no virtue to 
accomplish any spiritv/il devdopment in men, — ^no virtue 
to impart a true knowledge of sin, or to raise the spirits 
of men into the light of what our sins are in the sight 
of God, — what they are to the heart of God. Feelings 
of a strong and solemn, as well as tender character, 
have, doubtless, been thus cherished; and, doubtless, 
the element of gratitude has been present: yet there 
was not, for there could not be, in images of physical 
suffering anything of the nature of spiritual light, — 
however such light may have been present along with 
them, being received otherwise. 

II. But there has been manifested also, and this 
especially recently, a tendency to deal with the detailed 



254 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

sufferings of Christ, as these were endured at the hands 
of wicked men, in the quite opposite way of making as 
little account of them as possible ; I do not mean deny- 
ing their reality, — denying that our Lord's flesh was 
suflFering flesh,— but rashly admitting the justness of 
a comparison of them with other cases of suffering in- 
flicted by man on man. 

Of such other cases it is not difficult to find many 
recorded that would bear the comparison; cases in 
which the cruellest tortures have been submitted to with 
such fortitude and patience of endurance as, if this way 
of viewing the subject had been admissible, would ex- 
cuse the sneer of the infidel Indeed, deaUng with the 
sufferings of the Saviour on this principle, those who 
have done so have escaped from justifying that infidel 
sneer only by referring the language of our Lord, in 
relation to the cup given Him to drink, to an apprehen- 
sion of what the cup contained, altogether unrelated 
to His being deKvered into the hands of sinful men. 
Nay, because of its seeming to shut us up to the view 
which they have taken of what that cup contained, viz. 
that it was filled with the wrath of God, the concession 
has been willingly made of the alleged disproportion 
between our Lord's agony in the garden of Gethsemane, 
in looking forward to the coming hour and power of 
darkness, and those sufferings which the history of that 
hour records. 

And here let me say that I entirely feel that our 
Lord's physical sufferings viewed simply as physical 
sufferings, and without relation to the mind that was in 
the sufferer, could not adequately explain the awful 
intensity of the feelings which accompanied His prayer 
in the garden of Gethsemane. But, on the other hand, 
apart altogether firom the insuperable objection that 
presents itself on other grounds to the conception that 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 256 

the cup which was the subject of Christ's prayer con- 
tained the Father's wrath, it seems impossible, with- 
out putting aside the record, not to connect that cup 
with these minutely detailed sufferings, foretold, as 
they had been, to the disciples on the way up to Jeru- 
salem, and having their commencement immediately 
after the answer of His prayer in the garden was re- 
vealed to the Lord; being also, as we have seen, met 
and submitted to by Him, with words which identified 
them with the cup as to which He had prayed. 

While John records the words already quoted as 
addressed to Peter, *' The cup which my Father gives 
me to drink shall I not drink it." Matthew gives these 
— " Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, 
and He shall presently give me more than twelve 
legions of angels?" words which, as well as all else, 
suggest, not a wrath coming forth from the Father, but 
a power of evil which the Father permitted to have its 
course. We cannot indeed doubt what the impression on 
the disciples as to that to which their Lord was subjected, 
must have been ; and accordingly, after our Lord's resur- 
rection, in that interview of touching tenderness with 
the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, when He joined 
Himself to them and said, "What manner of communis 
cations are these which ye have one to another, as ye 
walk, and are sad?" — their sad thoughts were "concem- 
ceming Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty 
in deed and word before God and all the people : and 
how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to 
death, and have crucified Him," On these events were 
their minds going back, and on these events did He 
give them light. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe 
all the prophets have spoken : ought not Christ to 
have suffered these things, and to enter into His 
glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, 



256 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the 
things concerning Himself." Luke xxiv. 17, 19, 20, 
25, 26, 27. 

But both the errors now noticed, — the minute dwell- 
ing on the physical suffering as such, on the one hand, 
and on the other hand, the turning away from it alto- 
gether, for the explanation of the intensity of our 
Lord's agony in the garden, and seeking that explana- 
tion in the assumption that the wrath of the Father was 
the bitterness of the cup given to the Son, — both these 
very opposite errors have alike originated in the root 
error of regarding our Lord's sufferings as penal, and 
so being occupied with their aspect 05 suffervngs merdyy 
when they were truly a moral and spiritual sacrifice, to 
which the sufferings were related only as involved in 
the fulness and perfection of the sacrifice. 

In St Matthew xvi. 21, we have the record of 
an intimation to the disciples of the sufferings to 
which the Lord looked forward, earlier than that 
quoted above. And both the outburst of natural feel- 
ing in Peter at the thought of his Master s suffering 
such things, and our Lord's rebuke, that in so feeling 
he savoured not the things that be of God, but the 
things that be of men, connected with the teaching 
that is immediately added, — ^^Then said Jesus unto 
them, If any man will come after me, let him deny 
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me: for 
whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever 
will lose his life for my sake shall fiud it " — illustrate 
to us the relation of the sufferings foretold to the life 
which the Son of God was presenting to the faith of 
the disciples, and to the fellowship of which He sought 
to raise their desires and their hopes. 

The later occasion of His speaking of His antici- 
pated sufferings to His disciples already quoted, is also 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 257 

marked by an incident which is in its teaching to us 
entirely to the same effect, I mean the request of the 
two sons of Zebedee. They, with Peter, were the three 
privileged to be present with our Lord during His 
agony of prayer in the garden ; as they had also been to 
be with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, when, 
" as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was al- 
tered, and His raiment was white and glistering. And 
behold there talked with Him two men, which were 
Moses and Elias> who appeared in glory, and spake 
of His decease which He should accomplish at Jeru- 
salem." Whether the scene on the Mount, along with 
the words with which their Lord's intimation of His 
approaching suffering, had concluded,-—" And the third 
day He shall rise again," — ^though not fully understood, 
had carried their thoughts at once beyond the suffer- 
ings to the glory that should follow, and so moved the 
desire which the request to " sit the one on His right 
hand, the other on His left in His kingdom," expressed, 
we know not ; but nothing can be more conclusive as 
to the relation — the abiding relation of the sufferings 
which the Lord foretold, to the development of the 
life that was in Him, than His reply to this requiest. 
First, in accordance with the awful impression of what 
He looked forward to, which it was His intention to 
convey. He says, — '' Ye know not what ye ask. Are 
ye able to drink of the cup that 1 shall drink of, and 
to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized 
with?" But when they reply, *^ We are able," He adds, 
'''Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized 
with the baptism that I am baptized with:" plainly 
preparing them for that fellowship in His anticipated 
sufferings which His words on the former occasion, as 
to the necessity of "bearing His cross," had equally 
implied. 

CAMPB, 17 



268 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

For, indeed, although this period of which the 
distinctive character is suffering in connexion with a 
permitted hour and power of darkness^ is so clearly 
marked off to us ; yet had the disciples been, as we 
have seen, before this time taught to see their Lord as 
bearing the cross, and to understand that they were 
called to take up the cross and follow Him. And now, 
when they were taught to associate a deeper meaning 
than it had yet to them, with their Lord's cross, it was 
still as that cross which they would have themselves to 
bear in following their Lord, that they were to con- 
template it. 

The continuity of the life of sonship, therefore, is 
unbroken in the transition to this third and last period, 
the character of the Father's deaUng with the Son as 
what related to the development of that life, is \m- 
changed, and the interest of the progress of that deve- 
lopment to us as the development of the life given to 
us in the Son of God, and which we are ourselves to 
partake in, is unaltered. We are to meditate on the 
details of our Lord's sufferings vdth that personal re- 
ference to ourselves, and, therefore, with that expec- 
tation of light as to their nature, which is justified by 
the words, " Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be 
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with" 
If we ponder these words well, they will indeed give a 
peculiar character to our consideration of the cup given 
the Son of God to drink ; and reaUsing in their light 
something of the depth of our calling as a call to fellow- 
ship in Christ's sufferings,-=-as in the light of the trans- 
figuration we may realise something of the high hope 
set before us, — ^we shall, in our ignorance of the forms 
of trial which our Father's love may yet take in accom- 
plishing in us the good pleasure of His goodness, feel 
it needfiil to fall back, as we may peacefiiUy do, on the 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 259 

faith that " the height and the depth and the breadth 
and the length of the love of God in Christ passeth 
knowledge ; " for that its end is, that we may be " filled 
with the fulness of God." 

The faithfulness of our Lord's personal ministry and 
the unclouded light of His life, had been already the 
realisation in humanity of a loving trust in the Father, 
and a forgiveness towards men, which were a victory of 
sonship and brotherhood in the sight of God of great 
price. But the extent to which sonship could trust the 
Father, the extent to which the true brother could 
exercise forgiving love, had to be further manifested, — 
or, rather, this Ufe of love had to be further developed; 
and if we enter into the reason for Christ's suffering at 
all through being exposed to the enmity of the carnal 
mind to God, instead of being protected from its malice 
by "twelve legions of angels," we can see how it should 
please the Father to bruise Him, and put the Son of 
His love to grief, such as the restraint put upon the 
power of the wicked up to a certain point had not per- 
mitted. We can see how it was fit that He should be 
exposed to suffer at the hands of wicked men, what 
would be a measure at once of man's rejection of God, 
" This is the Son, let us kill Him, and the inheritance 
shall be ours," and of the forgiving love of Him who 
could die for His enemies; and we can see how as a 
revealing of the Father this must take place in the 
power of the life of sonship ^ that is to say, in the strength 
of the Son's conscious oneness of mind with the Father, 
in the strength of the Ufe which is in the Father's favour. 

Therefore, in following the path of the Son as the 
Father orders it, and keeping our ear open to the voice 
which says, " This is my beloved Son," we can, without 
feeling it a contradiction to that voice, contemplate the 
coming to the Son of "the hour and power of darkness." 

17—2 



260 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

But we should feel very diflTerently if called to believe 
in any outcoming of the Father's mind towards the 
Son, or any aspect of His countenance towards Him 
that did not accord with the words, " This is my beloved 
Son." For this we should feel quite unprepared. When 
Satan was permitted to try Job, it was with this reser- 
vation, "but save his life." In our Lord's case, it is 
the higher life, the life in the Father's favour ^ that we 
are prepared to see untouched. That He should die, 
by the grace of God tasting death for every man, — so 
dying as through death to destroy him who had the 
power of death, that is the devil, we can understand, 
seeing in this the triumph of the eternal life. What- 
ever can have been contained in the permission of an 
hour and power of darkness, we can believe to have 
entered into the divine counsel, because anything that 
these words can express could only prove the might of the 
eternal life; — for nothing simply permitted — nothing 
external to God Himself — nothing that was not in the 
divine aspect towards Christy could reach that life to 
touch it as a life in God's favour, or suspend its flow 
from God. But the wrath of God as coming forth 
towards Christ, would be indeed the touching of that 
very life in the Father's favour, whose excellence and 
might was to he proved- at so great a cost. Accordingly 
we have seen that it was as a cup from the Father's 
hand that Christ received the cup given Him to drink, 
and that the unbroken sense of the Father's favour was 
expressed in the rebuke to the unbelieving, though 
affectionate zeal of Peter, "Thinkest thou that I can- 
not now pray to my Father, and He shall presently 
give me twelve legions of angels?" And, most con- 
clusive of all, we have the revelation of the nature of 
the strength in which the anticipated trial was met, and 
in which doubtless it was victoriously borne, in the ex- 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 261 

press words of our Lord in reference to one most bitter 
element of its bitterness, — " Behold, the hour cometh, 
yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered every man 
to his own, and shall leave me alone : and yet / am not 
aloney because the Father is with me." 

We can understand, then, the permission of an hour 
and power of darkness, as what could only prove the 
might of the eternal life presented to our feith in the 
Son of God. We do not so easily understand the 
measure of the proof which such an hour was fitted to 
be. And it is here that the error and shortcoming 
have been, which have permitted the comparison of our 
Lord's sufferings during the hour and power of dark- 
ness, with the ordinary case of man's suffering at the 
hands of man. 

The actual treatment to which our Lord was sub- 
jected is but one of two elements in His suffering ; 
and it has surely been a grave error to leave the other 
element, which, is indeed, the important element, out 
of account. We may find cases where the physical 
infliction and the indignities offered have been as great 
or greater, but how shall we calculate the infinite 
difference that the mind in which Christ suffered has 
made? That mind, indeed, made Him equal to what 
He had to bear, for its might was the might of the 
eternal life which is in God's favour; but this great 
might was not the might of mere power, nor was it 
that the life of son ship imparted an insensibility to His 
humanity, or that because of the light of God which 
belonged to it, it made all that He had to encounter 
to be to Him as nothing. On the contrary, the very 
opposite of all this was the truth. It was not a might 
of power at all, but the might of realised perfect weak- 
ness, whose only strength was the strength of faith. It 
was not a bearing of the things that came upon Him 



262 HOW WB ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

in iosensibility. The most tender sensitiveness proper 
to humanity, as possessed and lived in in the truth 
of humanity, was there open to all that came to 
wound it. It was not that in the Hght of God, and 
in the knowledge that He came from God and went 
to God, there was a raising of the Lord above His 
circumstances, making them to Him as nothing. In 
the light of God, which is the light of love, all these 
circumstances as they were indeed the form taken by 
an hour and power of darkness had their true import 
and magnitude, and awful substance of sin and enmity 
as these are estimated by the divine love. In truth, 
we are to judge that according as was the love which, 
in the strength of love to God and man, was able to 
drink that cup, so was the bitterness of that cup. And 
that according to the measure of the true sense and 
consciousness of humanity, in Christ, was the sensibiUty 
to that bitterness, the capacity of suffering through it. 
And that according to the absolute felt weakness of 
the flesh to which no strength at«all remained, was the 
need of sustaining faith, as the need of one believing in 
"the dust of death." 

If we are not turned away from meditating on this 
subject in the light of the life itself which we are seeing 
tried and triumphing, and do not unwisely occupy our- 
selves with the record of physical sufferings, as if we 
were called on to look at what could be known according 
to the flesh, — until the unsatisfitctory result cast us upon 
the opposite error of supposing that our Lord's agony 
in the garden could not reaUy have its explanation in 
His anticipation of what the hour and power of dark- 
ness would be to Him,— we shall find even our ordinary 
experience of human suffering as connected with man's 
mhumanity to man, giving a right direction to our 
thoughts. 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 263 

We are familiar with the fact, that unkindness 
affects quite differently a meek, gentle, loving spirit, 
and a proud, independent, self-relying spirit. The com- 
parative ease with which some men encounter all man- 
ner of ungracious and unbrotherly treatment at the 
hands of others in the conflict of life, is because they 
meet pride and unbrotherliness in the strength of pride 
and unbrotherliness. This too often passes for manli- 
ness ; — and it would be unjust to say that it may not 
often be combined with, and upheld by, the instinctive 
feeling of manhood, and of what is due to oneself. But 
assuredly the state of mind, as a whole, tends to make 
the apparent victory not so much a victory as an insensi- 
bility. The evil treatment experienced does not really, 
in these cases, cause the pain it would cause to that 
brotherliness in which it should be met, and which, 
being recognised, has always a witness in men's con- 
sciences as the right and highest way of meeting 
injuries; though the pride that hinders a man from 
feeling it himself, m^kes him slow to give another 
credit for it. But it is surely not diflScult to see that, 
if our feeling of what is due to ourselves be free from 
pride, and only commensurate with our feeling of the 
love due from us to others, — if our sense of manhood 
be in harmony with the true and pure feeling of the 
oneness of all flesh, and if the claim of others on love 
from us be felt to be altogether untouched hy failure 
in love on their part, — being discharged by us in the 
reality of a love that, notwithstanding such failure, loves 
them still, — loves them as we love ourselves, making 
their sin our burden, as well as also their unkindness to 
be felt as the disappointing response of hatred to love ; 
then must unkindness be to us, so minded, a suffering 
and trial just commensurate with the measure of the 
unkindness to which we are subjected, on the one 



264 HOW WB ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

hand, and the measure of this life of love in us, on 
the other. 

But it is not alone the amount of suffering implied 
in the treatment to which our Lord was subjected, that 
we must fail to estimate aright, unless we see that 
suffering in the light of the life that was in Him. It 
is still more as to the ncUure of that suffering that we 
shall err. This we feel the moment we turn from con- 
templating it as physical infliction on the part of men, 
and physical endurance on the part of Christ, to con- 
template it in its spiritual aspect as the form of the 
response of enmity to love. 

There is surely very special instruction for us here 
in the fact that shame — ^indignity — is so marked a cha- 
racter of the injuries inflicted on Christ. I need not 
illustrate this point. The Apostle speaks of " the shame 
of the cross," as if the great victory through the faith 
of the joy set before our Lord was victory over that 
shame : and, both in the historical narrative, and in 
the related Psalms, indignity and contumely, that is 
to say, all that would most touch that life which man 
has in the favour of man, and which strikes more deeply 
than physical infliction, because it goes deeper than 
the body, — wounding the spirit, — ^is the most distin- 
guishing feature of the evil use made by sinful men 
of the power that they received over the Son of God 
when He was betrayed into the hands of sinners. 

All along, the relation of the cross to shame was 
ever present to our Lord's mind. It is against the 
consequences of being " ashamed of Him and of His 
words," as the opposite of "confessing Him before 
men," that His warnings are given. He knew in His 
own honouring of the Father as bringing upon Him, 
as its consequence, dishonour to Himself from men, 
the shame of which He spake, according to the words, 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 265 



'' The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell 
upon me." 

How related the shame, against which He warned 
men; was to their laying down their life in this world, 
so that, being content to bear it, was identical with 
being contented to lay down that life, our Lord plainly 
declares, when preparing ,men for the sacrifice that 
would be impKed in becoming His disciples. So the 
desire of the honour which is the correlative of that 
shame, is represented by Him as hindering the faith 
to which He called men, — " How can ye believe, which 
receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour 
that Cometh from God only?" (John v. 44.) 

What are we taught by all this in relation to the 
cup of suflfering which our Lord received from His 
Father's hand ? For the shame that was an ingredient 
in that cup would not have the place it has if it were 
not peculiarly the occasion of suffering to the suffering 
Saviour. 

Here we feel that, notwithstanding all our great, 
our sinful bondage, to what others think of us, a 
bondage of which the measure is never known until 
we attempt to assert our freedom, as the strength of 
an iron fetter is not known until the attempt is made 
to break it, still we little realise what the shame to 
which our Lord was subjected was to His Spirit. And 
this is the case partly because our own bondage in this 
matter, however real, and however excused by us to 
ourselves because of its universality all around us, never 
has the sanction of conscience, never is what we can 
confess before God, or confess to ourselves without a 
certain sense of degradation. How different the feel- 
ing with which a man says, *' I must do as others do," 
from that with which he says, " This is the will of God. 
I must do it." The former obedience is, I say, felt to 



266 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

be a degradation, even while it is rendered, while the 
latter, being rendered, is felt to exalt and ennoble. But 
because of the sinful and polluted form of that re- 
ference to the thoughts of others regarding us, to which 
we are conscious in ourselves, we have the more diffi- 
culty in entering into ^Hhe shame of the cross" as an 
element in Christ's sufferings. And yet the importance 
assigned to it is, as I have said, undeniable. 

I have already had occasion to quote that which is 
said in reference to our Lord's early life at Nazareth, 
that He grew in favour with God and man. In the 
book of Proverbs iii. 4, the virtues commended are 
commended with this promise annexed, " So shalt thou 
find favour and good understanding in the sight of God 
and man." The first and great commandment is, '*Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and 
mind, and soul, and strength," and the second is like 
unto it, ^'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" As 
our life in God's favour is related to the first com- 
mandment, and our capacity of that life is the prepa- 
ration of our being for our having that command 
addressed to U9, — so is there a life like unto that life 
related to the second commandment, having also pre- 
paration made for it in the constitution of humanity, 
viz. a Ufe in man's favour, — a life like, I say, to the life 
which is in God's favour, in that it is a life in favour , 
i.e. a life not in possessions, but in the feelings of a 
heart towards us. As, then, it is proper to the life of 
sonship, — the perfect love to God as the Father of our 
spirits, — to desire His favour, and know that favour as 
the light of life, so it is proper to the life of brotherhood, 
which is the perfect love to our neighbour, to desire 
our brother's favour, to desire that Uving oneness with 
Him which is only possible in unity of Spirit^ such as 
''favour," if a spiritual reality, implies. Therefore our 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 267 

Lord, the true brother of every man, desired this 
response of heart from every man ; and the refusal of 
it, the giving of contempt instead of favour, and scorn 
instead of that accord of true brotherhood, which would 
have esteemed Him, as was due to Him, as " the chief 
among ten thousand, and altogether lovely," was as a 
death to that life which desired the favour thus denied. 

No doubt, as it was, that favour was withheld on 
grounds that quite strengthened the Son of God, to 
submit to the loss of it. He '* came in His Father's 
name, and they received Him not." No doubt it was 
thus peculiarly an ingredient in His bitter cup, which 
He was enabled to drink in the strength of sonship; 
but it was not the less on that account bitter to the 
heart of perfect brotherhood. He was able to bear the 
loss of the life that is in man's favour, in the strength 
of the higher life which is in the Father's favour. But 
in itself that loss was bitter in proportion to the pure 
capacity of life in brotherhood, which was in Him. 

God is not the author of confiision, but of order. 
In giving us two commandments. He has not placed 
us under two masters. The first commandment is 
absolute, and its requirements reach to the whole 
extent and circle of our being, leaving iiothing to the 
man that it does not claim for God ; the second our 
Lord says is like unto it, and, coming after so extensive 
a first commandment, would be what we could not 
meet with obedience, had not " likeness " amounted to 
such a relation to the first, as that obedience to the 
second commandment must flow out of obedience 
to the first. Therefore, as the strength to obey the 
second commandment must be in that love to God 
which is the obeying of the first commandment, when 
the obedience of that second commandment is not 
followed by its due response from those in relation 



268 HOW WB ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

to whom it is AilfiUed^ the consciousness that pertains 
to obeying the first commandment must still sustain 
the spirit. But that second commandment has not 
been really obeyed, the love it calls for has not been 
truly cherished, unless the refusal of that due response, 
and the return of enmity for love in that most trying 
form of scorn and contempt, be painful. And painftd 
it must be in the measure of the love that is thus put 
to grief. 

As to our fleshly experience in this matter, — our 
experience of life in the favour of others, — ^it is but 
too clear, that, though the desire of that favour has a 
true root in humanity, yet not love, but selfishness, 
renders that desire the occasion of the bondage to which 
we are conscious. But in Christ's case the love to men 
to which men made so evil a response — ^that very love 
itself was what demanded that coming to them in His 
Father's name because of which they refused Him. 
His so coming to them was true love to them, as well 
as faithfulness to His Father, — the true brotherhood, 
which, while seeking men's favour, seeks their good still 
more than their favour. Therefore, if we would under- 
stand the forgiveness which, by giving occasion for its 
exercise, our Lord's sufferings during the hour and 
power of darkness developed in Him, we must see that 
His love was forgiving injuries which were, in the strictest 
sense, injuries against itself, — injuries sustained by the 
love as love, and not merely touching Him against whom 
they were directed in some more outward and lower part 
of His being, some inferior capacity of suffering. 

But still more, even the element in our Lord's 
sufferings that is most purely physical, is not what our 
own physical experiences prepare us to understand. 
There is no doubt that it was part of the perfect truth 
of our Lord's consciousness in humanity, to have felt 



THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 2()9 

what was physical in His suffering with a pure and 
simple sense of what it was in itself; which we in 
suffering physical pain escape in various ways, either in 
the way of nerving ourselves to bear, or in the way of 
forcibly turning our minds from the pain to other 
considerations. Nor does our Father see it necessary, 
even when He subjects us to physical suffering, to leave 
us to pr6ve its fulness. 

President Edwards, in speaking of the elements of 
our Lord's sufferings, — and in this others have followed 
him, — speaks of that vision of evil which he supposes to 
have pressed on our Lord's spirit, as "unaccompanied 
by counterbalancing comfortable considerations and 
prospects." His object being simply to inquire what 
elements of suffering could accord with our Lord's holi- 
ness, in trying to conceive to Himself what God could 
use to fill full a cup of penal suffering, he was led thus 
to suppose holiness in Christ subjected to what would 
give it pain, and that pain left unmitigated by the pre- 
sence to His spirit of what would, to the holiness thus 
pained, be counterbalancing comfort. That for the joy 
set before Him our Lord endured that which He en- 
dured, does not accord with this conception. While, as 
I have already said, 1 do not believe that the question 
was at all as to the way in. which most suffering could 
be accumulated on the sufferer. 

But there was a reason, though not this, why our 
Lord, having takeJn suffering flesh, and being subjected 
to suffer in it under an hour and power of darkness, 
should prove its fiill capacity of suffering. For He was 
to manifest to the utmost the power and courage of love, 
refusing the favour of man when that follows not the 
favour of God ; as well as the forgiveness of love, when 
those who can kill the body, but after that have no 
more that they can do, put forth that power in enmity; 



270 HOW WE ARE TO CONCEIVE OF 

Among the comparisons which have been so unwisely 
permitted of our Lord's sufferings under this hour and 
power of darkness, with what others have suffered, the 
sufferings of His own martyrs have been mentioned. 
As to the sufferings of martyrs, suffering in His spirit 
and sustained by His strength, they are obviously a part 
of the fulfilment of the word, '* Ye shall drink indeed of 
my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am 
baptized with:" but, unless we are prepared to claim 
for them the life of love, in the fiihiess in which it was 
present in Him from whom it has flowed in them, we 
cannot conclude as to the comparative amount of their 
sufferings from the external circumstances of suffering 
in which we see them. 

But, apart from this, though His church be called 
to fill up what is behind of Christ's sufferings, and 
though the counsel of God in that Christ is the vine, 
we the branches. He the head, we the members, im- 
plies that, in a sense, and an important sense, there is 
that behind which remains to be filled up ; yet in suf- 
fering, as in all else, there was a fulness and perfection 
in Christ Himself, of which we severally receive but a 
part. Accordingly, measures of comfort under suffer- 
ings, even to the extent of partially neutralising these 
sufferings, have been often granted to martyrs, though 
not to their Lord. Nay, even in more ordinary cases 
of physical suffering, as a cup which our Father may 
give us to drink, while it is good for us, though chil- 
dren, to learn obedience by the things which we suffer, 
yet it is sometimes our Father's wUl, in seasons of suf- 
fering, to reveal in the spirit so much of His glory in 
Christ as neutraUses the physical suffering. Thus 
David Brainerd, to whom a very unusual measure of 
physical pain was appointed, sometimes when that pain 
was most acute, had granted to him, along with it, a 



THE SUFFERINGS OP CHRIST. 271 

joy in the Holy Ghost, which so counterbalanced that 
pain, that on the whole he judged that condition far 
happier than an ordinary measure of religious joy, with 
ordinary health. But as to our Lord's experience 
during that hour and power of darkness, it would seem 
inconsistent with the purpose of subjecting Him to the 
experience of the weakness of suflFering flesh at all, to 
conceive of this experience as other than, so to speak, 
perfect. In this view, the reason that has been as- 
signed for His refasing the drink offered to deaden pain, 
commends itself to us. 

I believe these thoughts as to the elements of our 
Lord's sufferings as suffered at the hands of men, and 
as to the weakness of suffering flesh in which He bore 
them, are true, and will help us to realise the trial to 
which forgiving love in the Son of God was put, and 
the mind of love in which He endured the trial, the 
manner of the victory of love. This it concerns us to 
know, because it is with this same love as in Him to- 
wards ourselves, and as, alas ! tried by our sins, that we 
have to do. This it concerns us to know, also, because 
it is this same love as in us through participation in 
Him as our life, that we are called to manifest towards 
others, and for the developing of which in us, it may 
be the Father's will that we shall have a personal expe- 
rience of drinking of our Lord's cup and being baptized 
with His baptism even in outward form of trial, 
which, if it comes to us, we, without this hght, are 
ill prepared to welcome. In thinking of what has 
been, and may yet be, of literal conformity to the suf- 
ferings of Christ, and in considering the probable his- 
tory of any attempt to persecute for Christ's name, or 
to constrain men to deny Christ, — an hour and power 
of darknes coming to the church towards the close as 
to her Lord, — ^it is a solemn thing to think that of the 



272 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 

many who would be found prepared to die rather thaii 
deny Christ, few might be found so partaking in the 
life of Christ as that dying would be to them the true 
fellowship of His cross, — the fellowship of His love to 
those who crucified Him, — of that love as in itself the 
deepest capacity of suffering, — of that love as in its 
deepest experience of suffering, proving its fountain to 
be in God by being forgiving love. And yet such a 
victory of love would be but what Christ is daily calling 
us to prove in measure, in calling us to take up our 
cross daily and follow Him. 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH THE ATONEMENT 
WAS PERFECTED, CONSIDERED IN THEIR RELATION, 
1ST, TO HIS WITNESSING FOR GOD TO MEN, AND 
2DLY, TO HIS DEALING WITH GOD ON BEHALF OF MEN. 

I- ^HESE sufferings were the perfecting of the Son's 
J- witnessing for the Father, being the perfected 
manifestation of the life of love as sonship towards God 
i and brotherhood towards man. 

The trial of our Lord's love to men, and its triumph 
in the prayer on the cross, " Father, forgive them ; for 
they know not what they do," — and the trial of His love 
to the Father, and trust in the Father, of which the 
final and perfected expression was these words in death, 
"Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," 
— ^were accomplished together by one and the same 
elements. The power of the Ufe of sonship and of con^ 
scious oneness with the Father in His mind towards 
His brethren, to enable Christ to abide in love, and 
overcome evil with good, is in truth that which we 
have now been contemplating. The sense of His 
Father's fatherliness was the strength in which He 
manifested this perfection of brotherhood. For that 
perfection of brotherhood was just His following of the 
Father as a dear child, — and all He suffered in this 
path came to Him as doing His Father's command- 
ments, and abiding in His love ; and thus was the 
Father in all this glorified in the Son. The very 
words, " Father y forgive them," testify how within the 
light of the Father's love and favour the Intercessor 
abode while suffering, — finding in that favour strength 

CAMPB. 1 8 



274 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

to suflfer, and not only to suffer, but to intercede. And 
as the experience of the utter weakness of suffering flesh 
was necessary to the completeness of the trial of His 
love to men, so was it also essential to the development 
of perfect trust in the Father, — for there remained to 
the sufferer no strength but the strength of faith. 

The outward history of the hour and power of dark- 
ness we have detailed to us by the Evangelists. We 
have not, however, much from them to help us to see 
that " hour " as from Christ's side. But there is a 
portion of Scripture, one of the Psalms, which is usually 
received as having this special interest to us, and 
which therefore is taken in supplement of the gospel 
narrative ; and our Lord's own partial quotation of 
this psalm on the cross, as well as its own contents, 
seem to justify our so receiving it. I refer to the 22nd 
psalm, which I shall now venture to use in this way — 
being the more desirous to do so, because, while 1 
believe that it is altogether confirmatory of the view 
now taken of the cup given our Lord to drink, — I mean 
especially as a permitted trial of the faith of the Son 
in the Father, and not an expression of wrath in the 
Father towards the Son, — the first words of the psalm, 
as quoted by our Lord, have been the words chiefly 
rested upon as the intimation to us of our Lord's having 
been the object of such wrath, — an interpretation which 
seems to me a violent straining of these words, taken 
alone; but which, if we take them as a part of the 
psalm, and to be understood in harmony with it, is 
altogether untenable, being indeed directly opposed to 
the tone and character of the psalm, as a whole. Its 
concluding verses, by the largeness of the reference to 
men, connect this psalm with the character of the crops 
as a trial of the love of brotherhood in Christ. But 
the first and larger portion of it places the suffering 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 275 

Saviour before us as an individual sufferer, drinking 
the bitter cup given Him to drink, and uttering 
the trial of faith which He is experiencing in drink- 
ing it. 

The psabn opens with a cleaving appropriation on 
the part of the Sufferer, of God as His God: '^ My God, 
my God." He asks God, His Gody why He leaves 
Him in the hands of the wicked, and interposes not 
on His behalf, delaying to answer His prayer : '* Why 
hast thou forsaken me ? why art thou so far from help- 
ing me, and from the voice of my roaring ? O my God, 
I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not; and in 
the night-season, and am not silent." He refuses any 
explanation of this silence that would be dishonouring 
to God : " But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest 
the praises of Israel." He refers to God's former jus- 
tifying of faith in the case of others of old : ^* Our 
fathers trusted in thee ; they trusted, and thou didst 
deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were deli- 
vered. They trusted in thee, and were not confounded." 
But the acknowledgment of God is delayed in His 
case as it had not been in theirs, and the delay is ex- 
posing the sufferer to contempt and scorn, and the 
bitter reproach that His professed trust in God has 
been a delusion, or a false pretension: "But I am a 
worm, and no man ; a reproach of men, and despised of 
the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn. 
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 
He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him : 
let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him." 
Therefore does the tried one go back on that which 
God has been to Him, — ^therefore does He fall back 
on the faithfulness of God, as the *' faithful Creator :" 
'^ But thou art He that took me out of the womb : thou 
didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's 

18—2 



' 



276 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb. Thou 
art my God from my mother's belly. '^ Thus His faith 
i. s Jngthaned, and the prayer, the delay in answering 
which has been the subject of the opening question, is 
renewed ; for His hope in God, His God, is not let go : 
" Be not thou far from me ; for trouble is near ; for 
there is none to help." The trouble is very great. The 
outer circle of His being is possessed by His enemies. 
He turns from it to that inner region, where God's 
nearness is to be known, for elsewhere there is no help: 
"Many bulls have compassed me ; strong bulls of Bashan 
have beset me round. They gaped on me with their 
mouths, as a ravening and roaring lion." And this is 
while the depths of the utter and absolute weakness of 
humanity are proved by the Suflferer as by one cast 
entirely upon God, and who puts not forth one effort on 
His own behalf, nor gives place to one movement of 
self-relying energy or self-dependent strength of the 
flesh : " I am poured out Uke water, and all my bones are 
out of joint : my heart is like wax ; it is melted in the 
midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a 
potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and 
thou hast brought me into the dust of death." Thus low 
in suffering at the hands of the wicked is He brought. 
"For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the 
wicked have enclosed me : they pierced my hands and 
my feet. I may tell all my bones : they look and stare 
upon me. They part my garments among them, and 
cast lots upon my vesture." All this is permitted to the 
wicked; for "they would have had no power at all, unless 
it had been given them from above." All this is received 
as therefore to Him from God : " Thou hast brought me 
into the dust of death." But God is Himsdf to Him 
" His God '' still ; so He is only the more cast upon 
God, made the more to cleave to Him : " But b^ not 



j 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 277 

thou far from me, O Lord : O my strength, haste thou 
to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my 
darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the 
lion's mouth." 

And now we meet the returning answer of prayer, 
— the justification of the Sufferer's unbroken trust, — ^the 
clearing up of God's faithfulness and truth in the whole 
transaction : " Thou hast heard me from the horns of 
the unicorns. I will declare thy name unto my brethren : 
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." 
His experience of God was not found to be in contra- 
diction to God's justification of the trust of the fathers, 
to which He had referred. That of God to which they 
were witnesses, has been, through the divine dealing 
with Him, only more deeply revealed: — as we see in 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, the testimony of the cloud 
of witnesses, connected with that of our Lord Himself, 
as " the author and finisher of faith," i. e. He whose 
faith perfects the revelation of that in God which we 
have to trust. Therefore he proceeds, "Ye that fear 
the Lord, praise Him : all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify 
Him : and fear Him, all ye the seed of Israel. For He 
hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the 
afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but 
when He cried unto Him, He heard." Then follows 
the expression of the purpose, to declare to men what 
in this great trial of faith He has been experiencing of 
God's faithfulness, and a prophesying of the result that 
would follow, viz. universal trust in God, who had not 
hid His face from the afflicted, but had heard His 
prayer : *' My praise shall be of thee in the great con- 
gregation : I will pay my vows before them that fear 
Him. The meek shall eat, and shall be satisfied : they 
shall praise the Lord, that seek Him : your heart shall 
live for ever. All ends of the world shall remember 



278 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

and turn unto the Lord ; and all the kindreds of the 
nations shall worship before thee," &c. 

The character of this psalm as a whole is, therefore, 
quite unequivocal, viz. a dealing of the Father with 
Christ in which the cup of man's enmity is drank by 
Him to its last drop, in the experience of absolute 
weakness, — the true weakness of humanity realised, 
whereby scope is given for the trust of sonship towards 
the Father; and we may add, considering the reference 
to men and their salvation with which the psalm closes, 
the love of brotherhood to men. But trust in God, per- 
sonal trust, is that of which the trial is most conspicuous 
as pervading the psalm, — ^trust in utter weakness, — ^trust 
in the midst of enemies,— trust which the extremity of 
that weakness and the perfected enmity of these enemies 
tries to the utmost, — trust which the Father permits to 
be thus tried, but trust, the root of which in the Father's 
favour, has not been cut off, nor even touched by any 
act of the Father, or expression of His face as if He 
were turned into an enemy, — as if He looked on the 
suppliant in wrath, — as if He regarded him as a sinner, 
imputed sin to him. Not this, not the most distant 
approach to this. Nay, on the contrary, language is 
put into the mouth of the tried one that would seem to 
preclude the possibility of such a misconception, as com- 
pletely as if chosen for that purpose; and the very 
ground on which the exhortation is given, ^^Ye that 
fear the Lord, praise Him ; all ye the seed of Jacob, 
glorify Him ; and praise Him, all ye the seed of Israel," 
is, " For He hath not despised nor abhorred the afflic- 
tion of the afflicted ; neither hath He hid His face from 
him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard," leaving 
no place even for that negative wrath, if the expression 
be not a contradiction, which, in clinging to the idea 
that the cup given to Christ was the cup of the Father's 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 279 

wrath, while yet shrinking from what such words should 
mean, has, as we have seen above, been set forth as a 
hiding of the Father's face. 

A measure of freedom of pleading with the Father 
while drinking of the bitter cup, is, indeed, here recorded, 
which is of the same character and has the same special 
impress of a life upon it which the words, "if it be 
possible let this cup pass from me" as used in the anti- 
cipation of drinking it, have. But that we are to see 
here an interruption of the continuity of that life which 
was in the consciousness of the Father's favour, an 
exception to the experience of abiding in the Father's 
love because keeping His commandments — ^that a mo- 
ment had arrived in which the confidence was disap- 
pointed which He had expressed when He said, "Ye 
shall flee every man to his own, and shall leave me 
alone : and yet I am not cdoney because the Father is with 
me," — that having said, "I lay down my life that I 
may take it up again, therefore my Father loveth me," 
the love of which He thus spoke was not His strength in 
dying, but that He tasted death under the Father's 
wrath; of this, or anything in the most distant way 
suggestive of this, there is no trace. 

And this remains true whatever width of meaning 
we may give to the expression "hour and power of 
darkness." Many have dwelt upon the part that he 
who is said to have the power of death, viz. the devil, 
may have had in our Lord's sufferings on the cross and 
in all this season. Considering the manner of trial which 
he was permitted to be to our Lord at His entering on 
His ministry, there is nothing that we need be repelled 
by in the thought that, in the invisible, a part of the 
trial appointed for our Lord may have been a permission 
to him to express his malice. But on this supposed 
element in the cup given Christ to drink, I must be 



280 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

silent as to positive statement, not seeing that anything 
is revealed. Only this much may be confidently as- 
serted, that anything permitted now could only be what 
that permitted formerly was, that is, a trial of the faith 
of sonship; for indeed as to the former trial, while the 
devil is represented as met by the Saviour with quota- 
tions from Scripture for which the tempter's appeal to 
Scripture was one reason, we shall lose much if we do 
not mark that the bringing forth of the meaning of the 
words quoted by the enemy, by placing them in their 
true harmony with other passages, is a use of Scripture 
for which no verbal knowledge of Scripture can quaUfy, 
but of which those alone are capable who are the chil- 
dren of wisdom. That the fiery darts of the wicked of 
which so many have had experience, may be a participa- 
tion in one element of their Lord's cup, it is not difificult 
to understand. But if so, these fiery darts have been 
met by Him with the shield of faith in the Father's 
fatheriiness, and can have had nothing at all to do with 
the real aspect of the Father's face towards Him ; nor 
could any supposed amount of such an element as this 
in His cup, be in the smallest degree an approach to 
what has been conceived of as the wrath of God. This 
is certain, as neither could any suffering from this sup- 
posed source, whatever its amount, be consistent with 
the idea of penal suffering, any more than any other 
element of suflfering which was painful because of the 
holiness of the sufferer, — ^however it might accord with 
the purpose of making our Lord perfect through suffer- 
ings as the Captain of our salvation and He who led our 
captivity captive. 

If the 22 nd psalm help us to conceive more truly 
of what our Lord felt while suffering at the hands of 
the wicked, it must, in the measure in which it does so, 
add to the value to us of the words of forgiving inter- 



^^^^^ •■' ^■^^^^■••■^•^■^'■^^^■^^^^■^^^ii. I ■■■ II I lliri _ _ - *"' - - > -"'—■^■^^'•■^^^^^.•^^^■•iVi'^lki^^^i^MVMhM 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 281 

cession which He uttered on the cross, — as all unadvised 
depreciating of what men's treatment of Him was to 
Christ must lessen their value. In proportion, also, as 
this psalm presents to us the trial to which the faith of 
sonship in Christ was subjected, it helps us to realise 
the victory of that faith which is revealed in the peace 
of the words in death, " Into thy hands, O Father, I 
commend my spirit." But the triumphant close of the 
psalm, and its large prophetic intimations, shed im- 
portant light back on the purely individual tone of the 
earlier part of it. We are not told in the psalm itself 
what the answer to "the cry of the afflicted" has been: 
only the language of supplication so accords with what 
is said in the Epistle to the Hebrews, (v. 7,) of our 
Lord's having "In the days of His flesh offered up 
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears 
unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and 
being heard in that He feared," — that we cannot hesitate 
in assuming the relation of these passages, or in con- 
necting the last with what is said in the 21st psalm, 
ver. 4, " He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it Him, 
even length of days for ever and ever;" an answer 
according with the peace of the words, "Into thy 
hands, O Father, I commend my spirit." The comfort 
of this answer is indeed, so far as the language goes, as 
purely individual as the tone of the agony and the 
pleading. Yet the prospect for men which is seen to 
open to the suppliant, reveals an interest of all men in 
the answer of His prayer, as weU as the consciousness of 
a relation to all men in the previous suffering in which 
the cry was uttered, the divine response to which, is thus 
salvation to men. So that, notwithstanding of the indi- 
viduality of the tone of the earlier part of the psalm, we 
are justified in ascribing to the sufferer an inward sense of 
His relation to all men corresponding with the expression 



282 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

used by Him in anticipating His sufferings: "And I, if 
I be Ufted up, will draw all men unto me,"— a reference 
such as the words imply, "who for the joy set before 
Him endured the cross.'* Notwithstanding, therefore, 
of the individual tone of this psalm which, at first sight, 
does not seem to accord with its imquestionable refer- 
ence to the crucifixion of Christ, we see in its close, that 
it indeed belongs to Him who bore our sins in His own 
body on the tree, and who, having made peace by the 
blood of His cross, came and preached peace to them 
who were afar off, and to them that were near. 

But it is not only as indicating to us that the 
interests of all humanity were involved in that suffering 
and that cry of the afficted, and in the divine response 
to that cry, that the latter part of this psalm is so 
important. It is still more important, as shedding 
light upon the atonement by the representation made 
of the way in which the happy result as to men which 
is prophesied, is to be accomplished. It is the Father's 
acknowledgment of the faith of the Son, which, being 
made known to men, is to cause " all the ends of the 
world to remember and turn unto the Lord, and all 
the kindreds of the nations to worship before him.*' 
However much the afflicted One whose cry had been 
heard, was, as the Holy One of God, separated from 
all men ; however it might be assumed that He had 
grounds to plead in prayer peculiar to Himself; 
however free also He was from all that cause of fear 
and hesitation in lifting up the heart to God in prayer, 
which ordinary men are conscious to as sinners : still 
His prayer must have been offered on a ground that 
all may occupy, and from which sin need exclude none. 
This is clear ; otherwise, that His prayer was heard, 
would not have been that Gospel to a sinful world, 
which it is here set forth as being. We must believe 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 283 

that any sinner of the human race to whom the nature 
of that cry and the grounds of it, and that which it 
sought from God, would be revealed in the Spirit, 
would see in the divine answer what would quicken 
faith and hope towards God in that sinner. He who 
in coming to this world had said, "Lo I come to do thy 
will, O God, " — ^who could, as to the fiilfilment of this 
purpose, say to the Father, " I have glorified thee on 
the earth, I have declared thy name, and will declare it," 
is seen here at the close of His course, as one holding 
fast the beginning of His confidence, and in this last 
trying time, and while subjected to the hour and power 
of darkness, sustained by the simple faith of that 
original fatherliness of the Father's heart, which He had 
come forth to reveal and to reveal by trusting it. 

Thus, the Holy One of God, God's holy child Jesus, 
having glorified his Father on the earth in all living 
righteous fulfilment of His will, now perfects His 
glorifying of the Father's Name, by being seen trusting 
in that Name alone when brought into the extremest 
need of a sure hold of God, — trusting simply in that 
Name, and not raising a claim of merit on having so 
perfectly honoured that Name. The sinless One is seen 
trusting simply in that Name which he had come to 
reveal to sinners, that they also might trust in it, and 
be saved ; and thus the Father's response to that trust 
is preached as the gospel to the chief of sinners. 
When one who has seen the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ, and who through Christ has faith and 
hope towards God, invites a brother sinner to share in 
his joy in the Lord, to share in his confidence through 
Christ, it is not an uncommon reply to be told, "But 
you are much better than I am. If I were only as 
religious as you are, and obeyed God as you seem to 
do, I should cherish hope. " And when such a person 



284 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

replies, " But you do not understand the secret of my 
peace. I am not trusting to my own merits. I am 
trusting simply and entirely to the free grace of God : 
the mercy of God revealed in Christ, and which has 
just the same relation to you that it has to me, is the 
source of all my peace. I indeed do seek to please 
God. Indeed I seek my life in His favour. But I do 
so altogether in the strength of that mind and heart of 
God towards me which the gospel reveals, and my 
doing so is only my welcoming of the salvation which 
is given me in the Son of God;"— he has often the pain 
of finding all he thus urges going for nothing, because 
it is set down as only Christian humility on his part,— 
only the efiect of the high standard which he is setting 
before himself ; and so, while it is thought to be very 
becoming in him to be thus humble, yet it still is felt 
that he must be trusting to that in which he is seen to 
differ from others; and so his peace is no gospel to 
those who feel themselves so unlike him. 

To meet this is painfiil and embarrassing when one 
would say with the Psalmist, "O taste and see that 
God is Good: blessed is the man that trusteth in 
Him." But it may surely serve to clear up this matter, 
and to remove all darkness from the subject of peace 
with God, to consider that our Lord Himself at the last 
as at the first, trusted simply and purely in the 
fisitherliness of the Father. " But thou art He that 
took me out of my mothers womb. Thou didst make 
me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." 
That which is not understood while men's conceptions 
of salvation are self-righteous, whether they are still 
flattering themselves with the hope that they are in 
some measure succeeding in recommending themselves 
to God's favour, or are less or more disturbed by the 
sense of failure in this attempt, is the simple nature of 



^^^r^swH 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 285 

trust in God as the response of sonship to the heart 
of the Father apprehended by faith. The oneness of 
sonship as perfect in Christ, and as in measure in us 
through participation in Christ, I have sought to keep 
before my reader's mind all along. To understand this 
oneness is what is needed to enable us to understand 
how the Father's response to the cry of the Son, as 
" the afflicted one/' the trial of whose faith is so far set 
before us in this psalm, is expected to have power, 
being made known, to cause " aU the ends of the world 
to remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the 
kindreds of the nations to worship before Him." 

2. The sufferings of Christ, which thus perfected 
His witnessing for God to men, had an equally close 
relation to His dealing with the Father on our behalf, 
— giving its ultimate depth to His confession of our 
sins, and the excellence of a perfect development of 
love and faith to His intercession for sinners, according 
to the will of God. 

The expectation as to the great results that were 
to follow, because " God had not despised nor abhorred 
the affliction of the afflicted, neither had hid His face 
from Him, but when He cried unto Him He heard," with 
the expression of which the 2 2d psalm concludes, is 
in effect the preaching to us of the gospel that God 
has given to us eternal life in His Son ; — for it is the 
declaration that the knowledge of the Son's trust in 
the Father will introduce us to the fellowship of that 
trust. But we are to learn from what we know other- 
wise of that cross of the Redeemer, which, in one aspect 
of it, this psalm so sets before us, how this should 
be so. It was in making His soul an offering for 
sin that this terrible trial of the faith proper to son- 
ship came to Christ. He was wounded for our trans- 
gressions, and bruised, for our iniquities, — that which 



286 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

He suffered was the chastisement that was to issue 
in peace to us. and His stripes were for the healing 
of our souls ; for He suffered the just for the unjust, 
that He mi^ht bring us to God, — bearing our sins 
in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to 
sins, should live unto righteousness. In accomplishing 
these results, we have now seen that, in order to the 
perfection of the work of Christ as witnessing for God 
to men, it has appeared to the divine wisdom necessary 
to subject His love and trust towards the Father, and 
His long-suffering forgiveness in bearing the contradio- 
tion of sinners against Himself, to the trial of the hour 
and power of darkness. Nor was the bitter cup thus 
appointed by the Father for the Son less important 
to the full development of the other element in the 
atonement^ viz. the dealing of the Son with the Father 
on our behalf, as confessing our sins and making inter- 
cession for us! according to the will of God. 

The intercession of forgiving love in the words, 
" Father, forgive them ; for they know not what they 
do," has already engaged our attention, as it was the 
expression of Christ's own forgiveness of His enemies, 
— and so also a part of His testimony for the Father, 
as He says, " Love your enemies, bless them that 
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray 
for them that despitefiilly use you and persecute you ; 
that ye may he the children of your Father which is in 
heaven.^' But contemplating our Lord as bearing us 
on His Spirit before the Father, and dealing on our 
behalf with the righteousness and mercy of God, con- 
fessing our sin with that confession which was the due 
response to the divine wrath against sin, and interced- 
ing for us according to the hope that was for us in God ; 
this prayer on the cross, — "Father, forgive them; for 
they know not what they do," belongs to the perfecting 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 287 

of this intercession of redeeming love in making our 
peace with God — that peace which, because perfected 
on the cross, is set forth to us as made there. 

It is obvious that all, by which the pressure of our 
sins on the Spirit of Christ was increased, and He was 
brought into closer contact with them, and deeper 
experience of the hatred of the darkness to the light, 
must have given a continually deepening character to 
Christ's dealing with the Father on our behalf; — 
giving an increasing depth to His response to the 
divine condemnation of our sin, causing that response 
to be rendered in deeper agony of spirit, and, at the 
same time, rendering His persevering iiterc^ssion a 
casting Himself more and more on the further, and 
deeper depths of fatherliness in the Father. Adhering 
to the conception of a progressive development of the 
eternal life in our Lord's human consciousness, and 
looking at all that was appointed for Him by the 
Father, as adapted by the divine wisdom for the end 
of forwarding this development, we indeed see abun- 
dant reason for that perfected personal experience of 
the enmity of the carnal mind to God to whidi our 
Lord was subjected. Without this the Son could 
never have proved in human consciousness, as we have 
just been contemplating Him as doing, the forgiveness 
that is in love ; — or the strength to overcome evil with 
good, which brotherly love can exercise, sustained by 
the faith of sonship trusting in the love of the Father ; or 
the sufficiency that is in the Father's favour for the life 
of sonship, however absolutely cast upon God. And 
so neither without this could an adequate confession 
of man's sin have been oflfered to God in humanity in 
expiation of man's sin, nor intercession have been 
made according to the extent of man's need of for- 
giveness. 



288 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

Therefore, though not as fiUing a cup of penal 
suffering, yet as essential to the Uving reality of a 
moral fnd spiritual atonement for sm, are aU those 
painful experiences which President Edwards has so 
fully entered into in his illustrations of Christ's suffer-- 
ing for our sins, when He bore them in His own body 
on the tree, to be weighed equally by us also. I have 
already noticed the limits which Edwards has recog- 
nised as to be observed, in conceiving to ourselves the 
elements of the inward mental sufferings to which our 
Lord was subjected while the malice of the wicked was 
poured upon Him from without, — being thankful that 
he has recognised such limits; nor, as I have said 
above, is it to his representation of the amount of 
Christ's sufferings, or of their nature^ that I object, 
but to the conception that these sufferings were penal. 
Assuming that idea to be precluded, as urged above, 
by the very nature of the sufferings endured, I am 
only the more anxious that we should not come short 
in our apprehension of the terrible reality that was in 
these sufferings, or of the real and necessary ^proportion 
that was between our sins and that wounding to which 
Christ submittedy in making His soul an offering for sin. 

The peace-making between God and man, which was 
perfected by our Lord on the cross, required to its reality 
the presence to the spirit of Christ of the elements of 
the alienation as well as the possession by Him of that 
eternal righteousness in which was the virtue to make 
peace. All the considerations that had a claim in the 
truth of things to be taken into account must have 
been taken into account: and, though God's wrath 
against sin was not felt by the Son of God as coming 
forth against Himself personally, as if the Father saw 
Him as a sinner ; yet must that wrath in the truth of 
what it is, have been present to and realised by His 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 289 

spirit; — and though He suffered not from it as 
"having its revenges inflicted on Him," yet must the 
reahsation of it and confession of its righteousness, in 
perfect sympathy with that righteousness, have been a 
suffering proportioned to His spiritual perfection ; 
and while He interceded in the faith of the infinite 
love of the Father and knowing that the will of God 
was our salvation, yet must the love that was taking 
this form have suffered in itself, while interceding, all 
the pain proper to the heart of perfect sonship, in its 
sympathy with the feelings of perfect fatherhood 
against which His brethren had sinned. Surely the 
soul that was made to be filled with the consciousness 
which these thoughts imply, was made a sacrifice for 
sin. Surely, while freed from all that it is so impossible 
to harmonise with the faith of a true consciousness in 
this great transaction — either in contemplating the mind 
of the Father towards the Son, or the mind of the Son 
towards the Father, which is implied in the imputation 
of our sins to Christ, and the assumption that His 
sufferings were penal — there is seen still in this great 
peace-making an awful coming together, in the inner 
man of the Son of God, of moral and spiritual elements ; 
the harmonising of which in the result of peace be- 
tween man and God — a peace in God realised in 
humanity for man to know and partake in, a peace to 
be preached to the chief of sinners — has been a work 
of love, in which the Son of God is seen bearing the 
chastisement of our peace ; suffering for us, the just for 
the unjust, to bring us to God. 

Let it not seem to any as if, while rejecting the 

conception of penal suffering as the atonement, I were 

\ still anxious to keep the idea of suffering before the 

mind ; and to raise as high as possible the conception of 

that suffering, as feeling a demand for suffering in the 

CAMPB. 1 y 



I 



290 THE SUFFERINGS OP CHRIST, IN WHICH 

history of the pardon of our sins to be what is to be 
ascribed to God, a demand for suffering as suffering. 
That would indeed be to cherish indirectly the wrong 
conception of atonement, deliverance from which I 
feel so important. I am only anxious that the ele- 
ments of the dealing of the Son with the Father in 
His intercession for us should be realised by us, so that 
the mind of God in relation to us and our sins should 
be truly apprehended ; and the hatefulness of our sins, 
as well as our personal preciousness to the Father of 
our spirits, be revealed to us through the apprehension 
of the elements of the peace which Christ accomplished 
on the cross. Nothing can be more vague or practi- 
cally unsuited to the real need of our spirits, polluted 
with the pollution of sin, than the kind of meaning asso- 
dated with our being "washed in the blood of Christ," 
while the thought of the shedding of His blood is the 
thought of the punishment of our sins, as endured by 
Christ for us. The nearest approach to a meaning 
which the common prayer, '^to be washed in the blood 
of Christ," has, as used in this connexion, is, I think, 
the expression of the feeling in the suppliant that 
he deserves wrath, and a recognition of the suffer- 
ings of Christ for his sin as the only ground on which 
he can expect pardon; and a certain element of self- 
despair, and of hope in free grace, may be present, and, 
I doubt not, often is present in this form of thought. 
But if the blood of Christ be to our thoughts the 
spiritual reality which was in Christ's making His soul 
an offering for sin, then, to be washed in the blood of 
Christ must be to have the moral and spiritual ele- 
ments of that offering revealed in our spirits, so 
bringing us into spiritual harmony with them, making 
us to partake in them ; which, to call a spiritual cleans- 
ing is no figure of speech, but the simplest and most 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PERFECTED. 291 

natural expression for a spiritual reality. But in this 
view every element in the great peace-making, which 
the Gospel proclaims as having been altogether and 
perfectly successful, and as resulting in a true spiritual 
peace for man, — a peace for man to be enjoyed in fel- 
lowship with the Father and the Son in the Spirit, — ^is 
of the utmost importance; and to leave any one ele- 
ment out unembraced by our faith, is to be practically 
without the knowledge, and so without the use of a 
part of the unsearchable riches which we have in 
Christ. 

In the full and clear apprehension of the moral and 
spiritual atonement made by the Son of God, — ^in the 
faith of the peace made by Him on the cross, then 
perfected, — but in relation to which He was all along 
"the blessed peace-maker," it is most surely felt that 
the true and perfect atonement, expiation, and satisfac- 
tion for man's sin is known; that we are in the light of 
it ; and that that light is the light of life. 

As respects what the atonement is in itself, and 
Christ's consciousness in making it, we see that, if 
Christ had been literally, as Luther has attempted to 
believe, made the reality of sin for us, — if He had been 
in personal consciousness the one sinner, guilty of all 
the sins of all men, and, under this load of guilt, had 
sought, in the strength of conscious perfect righteous- 
ness, the Father s face ; such confession of the evil of 
sin, such entrance into the Father's mind regarding it, 
such responsive unity with the Father in the condem- 
nation of it, as we have been ascribing to Him as pre- 
sented by Him to the Father with reference to our 
sins, would have been the atonement He would have 
made ; and such trust in the fatherliness of the Father, 
as we have assumed to have encouraged and sustained 
His intercession for us, would have been the strength 

19—2 



292 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, IN WHICH 

of hope in which He would have made that atonement. 
Therefore, being the holy one of God, and separate 
from sin, in personal consciousness as well as in reality, 
yet bearing our sins on His heart before the Father, 
dealing with the Father's righteousness and mercy on 
our behalf, asking for us that which was according to the 
Father's will, we feel that the confession and the inter- 
cession made by Him — divine, while human — must 
have been made with the consciousness of its suitable- 
ness, and the assurance of its acceptance. " I said, I 
will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou 
forgavest the iniquity of my sin." Psalm xxxii. 5. 

As to ourselves and the light in which we see all 
that concerns our relation to God, in contemplating the 
Son's dealing with the Father on our behalf, if we 
understand the elements of that which we contem- 
plate, we must feel that it is what, could we have 
oflfered it to God, was due from ourselves; and that, 
could we have oflfered it, it would have been an atone- 
ment such as no endurance of punishment could ever 
have been : this we must feel, though at the same time 
we feel that to have made it was as impossible for us 
as to have made ourselves divine; while yet we also 
see that we must partake in it, and must have its ele- 
ments reproduced in us, for that these elements con- 
stitute the mind in which we who have sinned against 
God, and been rebellious children, must return to the 
Father of our spirits if we are to return at all ; that 
Christ is indeed the way and the truth and the life ; 
that no man can come to the Father, but by Him. 

In the way opened for us into the holiest by the 
blood of Christ, we see what in its own light is dis- 
cerned by us to be at once a way into the holiest, and 
the only way. In exercising faith in that blood we 
are consciously under a cleansing and purifying power. 



THE ATONEMENT WAS PEllFECTED. 293 

the only power that could cleanse and purify us, but as 
to which we feel that it has in itself no limit, and that 
its result in us wiU only be limited as the measure 
of our being yielded up to it is limited. In our begun 
life of sonship through the faith of the Son of God, 
in our feeble lisping of the Father's name, — ^we have 
consciously the earnest of the eternal inheritance. The 
perfecting of our conscience as worshippers by the 
sprinkling of the blood of Christ, we discern to be the 
commencement of that experience which will hereafter 
utter itself in the song, " Unto Him that loved us and 
washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath 
made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, 
to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. 
Amen." 

Finally, when from thus contemplating the atone- 
ment as accomplished by Christ, and seeing ourselves 
in its light — realising how hopeless our state had been 
apart from it, while conscious to the living faith and 
hope towards God which the faith of it. is quickening 
in us — we lift up our thoughts to the Father, and con- 
sider what the great work of redeeming love has been 
to Him, and hear in relation to it the testimony of 
the Father to the Son, — " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him," we are, indeed, 
filled with the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 
Seeing the Father in the Son, — seeing the eternal, 
divine elements of the work of the Son in the Father, 
seeing that what we are contemplating is, indeed, 
but the perfect doing of the Father's will, the perfect 
declaring of His name — raised up by the faith of the 
will of God as done, — of the name of God as declared 
to the apprehension of the Eternal Will, the Unchang- 
ing Name, we understand the complacency of the 
Father in the Son ; we understand the excellence in 



294 THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 

the sight of the Father of the work of Christ, viewed 
simply in itself, we understand how it pleased the 
Father to bruise the Son and put Him to grief, we 
understand how the Father saw it good to put into 
the hands of the Son of His love the cup concerning 
which He had prayed that if it were possible it should 
pass from Him; — for we understand how, viewed in 
itself, the revelation of love in all its long-suffering, 
forgiving, self-sacrificing might and depth, was a result 
worthy of God to accomplish, even at so great a price ; 
while yet we understand that this neither was nor 
could have been but in relation to the further results 
which this revelation of the name of the Father con- 
templated, — that it was as being " bringing many sons 
to glory," that '^ it became Him of whom are all things, 
and by whom are all things, to make the Captain of 
their salvation perfect through sufferings." And the 
oneness of sonship, the identity of the life of sonship, 
as seen accomplishing the atonement and as partaken 
in by men through participation in the atonement, and 
the excellent glory of the hope of sonship in its in- 
heriting of the Father, — as it is said, " heirs of God, 
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,"— is to us the 
full justification of the Father in all that travail of the 
soul of Christ, of which our salvation is the fruit. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE DEATH OF CHRIST CONTEMPLATED AS HIS '* TASTING 
death/' and '^FOR EVERY MAn/' AND THE LIGHT IT 
SHEDS ON HIS LIFE, AND ON THAT FELLOWSHIP IN 
HIS LIFE, THROUGH BEING CONFORMED TO HIS DEATH, 
TO WHICH WE ARE CALLED. 

I HAVE nothing to add in direct elucidation of the 
view now taken of the nature of the atonement ; 
but both the necessity for the perfecting of the atone- 
ment in the death of our Lord on the cross, which the 
fact of His death in connexion with His prayer in the 
garden implies, and the constant reference to the cross 
as suggestive of the whole work of redemption, are 
reasons for presenting here to the reader's attention 
some thoughts in relation to the death of our Lord, 
viewed in itself and in the light of His consciousness 
in passing through death, which may be profitable, and 
especially, practically. 

The words of our Lord in death, " Into thy hands, 
O Father, I commend my spirit," are given to help us to 
Understand the life of sonship, which we are seeing pass- 
ing out of our sight, and to reveal to us in this its final 
triumph the secret of its victory all along. For, in this 
trust in death, we are not contemplating a new manner 
of faith. The perfection of its development and mea- 
sure of its manifestation only are new. The faith which 
this last utterance of the voice of sonship presents to 
our faith, is not anything else than that trust in the 
Father manifested in death, which had pervaded the 
Lord's whole life; for, Christ's following of God as a 
dear child, walking in love, always implied that direct 



296 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

and immediate living by the Father, which these words 
used in death expressed. He ever through the Eternal 
Spirit offered Himself without spot to God. To hold 
and use this life in the flesh in sonship, and to yield it 
up in sonship, these were divers actings of one faith. 
Therefore, the words, "Into thy hands, O Father, I 
commend my spirit," should shed light back to us on 
the whole of our Lord s path on earth. There was a 
saying, *' Not my will, but thine be done," a dying to 
live in all our Lord's life, as well as at the close. 

I have already spoken of the shame of the cross 
in its relation to that second commandment of which 
Christ's perfect brotherhood towards man was the ful- 
filment, as His sonship towards the Father was the 
fulfilment of the first. If we know anything of hfe as 
a meeting in the strength of sonship the call which 
the first commandment makes on us, and know that re- 
jection of all independent life in self and our neighbour 
which this implies, our own experience will help us in 
endeavouring to realise the oneness of the faith in which 
Christ lived, seeking not His own glory, but His glory 
who had sent Him, with the faith in which in death 
He said, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my 
spirit." The Apostle speaks of "dying daily;" and, if 
we are attempting to ^' follow God as dear children, walk- 
ing in love," we know that this imphes such a dying 
daily as is possible only in a faith which is a constant 
commending of our spirit into the Father's hands. For 
lonely as death is, not less lonely is true life at its root 
and core, — I mean lonely as respects the creature, a 
being left alone with God. 

But, while the faith tried and proved in our Lord's 
tasting death was the same that had been tried and 
proved in His whole life, yet was the trial peculiar and 
extreme, and in its nature fitted to be the final trial, 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH. 297 

as well as to shed light back on all former trials. I 
have already noticed the sinless, — I should rather say 
righteous, — desire of the life that is in man's favour, 
which our Lord's fulfilment of the second command- 
ment implied, and which explains to us the intenseness 
of feeling under the injustice done to Him in men's 
estimate of Him, expressed in the words, " Reproach 
hath broken my heart." In bearing the contradiction 
of sinners, our Lord was continually drinking of cups, 
which naturally and sinlessly, nay, because of love, 
and therefore righteously, He must have desired not 
to drink; which yet as presented to Him by His 
Father He desired to drink, and which, in the strength 
of the eternal life which is in the Father's favour, He 
did drink. 

Now death itself, as the close of life so lived and 
passed through in the strength which the words reveal, 
*^Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," 
"was in harmony with such a life and its fitting close ; 
for it was the perfect manifestation and consummation 
of the faith in the Father, which was the secret of that 
life. I say, it was the '^ perfect manifestation " of that 
faith, because it revealed the strength in which our 
Lord had been able to do without the honour which 
Cometh firom man, — ^the life that is in man's favour, — 
and how it was that He had not feared those whose 
power can go no further than to kill the body. The 
life which was common to them and to Him, the life 
through which they could reach Him and cause Him 
pain, that life had conferred upon them no power over 
His spirit ; for that life He had held, as He now parted 
with it, in the strength and freedom of sonship. I 
have also said, '^ consummation," because it was the 
perfected development of that faith. I cannot help 
having the words in reference to Abraham's oflfering 



298 THE DEATH OF CHRIST ^ 

up of Isaac here recalled to me, "Now I know that 
thou lovest me." "By works was faith perfected." / 

The faith that could offer up Isaac was there before 
it was proved ; yet something further had come to pass 
in the spirit of Abraham^ and in the sight of God, 
when it was proved. So of all our Lord's sufferings, 
in that, though a Son, He learned obedience by the 
things which He suffered. The sonship was there per- 
fect all along; yet something came to pass, something 
was developed in the humanity of the Lord in each 
successive outcoming of the obedience of sonship under 
suffering ; something which the Father had desired to 
see in humanity, and now saw, and which the incar- 
nation, simply as such, had not accomplished, but 
which was being accomplished as the life of the Son in 
humanity progressed under the Father's discipline, and 
educating of Him as the Captain of our salvation. 
And if this be a true apprehension as to the previous 
sufferings of the Lord, and their progressive intensity, 
so also must it be of His tasting death. In substance, 
in spirit. He had all along said, " Into thy hands, O 
Father, I commit my spirit." In actual death He now 
said so. 

The simplest positive idea which I am able to form 
of the glory given to the Father, in saying, in death, 
"Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," — 
I receive in realising the nakedness of simple being, 
stript of all possession but what is possessed in the 
heart of the Father, which is suggested to us as that 
in the consciousness of which this trust is exercised. It 
is the most perfect and absolute form of that experience, 
" I am not alone, for the Father is with me." It takes 
away creation and leaves but God. It is not difl&cult 
to see the glory given to God in this faith. Never 
does the Son, who dwells in the bosom of the Father, 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH. 299 

utter more to our hearts what it is to possess the 
Father as our Father, and to be sons of Grod, than 
when He says in death, " Into thy hands, O Father, 
I commend my spirit." 

And we must note, that this is not said in simple 
naked existence, as it might be the utterance of son- 
ship in a spirit just awakened to the consciousness of 
existence, knowing yet no possession but God, who has 
given it being. It is an utterance in death. He who 
thus puts trust in the Father is tasting death while 
doing so. It is very difl&cult for us, though most de- 
sirable, to apprehend what this should add to our con- 
ception of that declaring of the Father's name which 
is in Christ's death. When I think of our Lord as 
tasting death, it seems to me as if He alone ever truly 
tasted death. And this, indeed, may be received as a 
part of the larger truth, that He alone ever lived in 
humanity in the conscious truth of humanity. But 
when I think of death as tasted by our Lord, how 
little help to conceiving of His experience in dying 
do any of our own thoughts, or anticipated experiences, 
seem fitted to yield 1 What men shrink from when 
they shrink from death, is, either the disruption of 
the ties that connect them with a present world, or 
the terrors with which an accusing conscience fills the 
world to come. The last had no existence for Him 
who was without sin; neither had the world, as the 
present evil world, any place in His heart. And even 
as to that purer interest in the present scene, which 
the relationships of life, cherished aright and according 
to God's intention in them, awaken, and the trial that 
death may be from this cause, there was in our Lord's 
case nothing parallel to it; unless that care of His 
mother, which He devolved upon the beloved disciple. 
But, death as death, is distinct from such accompanying 



300 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

considerations as these, and our Lord tasted it in 

the truth of that which it is. For, as He had truly 

Uved in humanity, and possessed and used the gift of 

life according to the truth of humanity, so did He also 

truly die; death was to His humanity the withdrawal of 

the gift of that life which it closes. As men in life know 

not life as God^s gift, neither realise what it is to live ; 

so neither do they in death know God's withdrawal of 

that gift, nor consciously realise what it is to die. " For 

as a man hveth, so he dieth." But it was altogether 

otherwise with our Lord. It was a part of His sinless 

consciousness in humanity to possess life in the pure 

sense of it as God s gift; and, therefore, it was a part 

of His sinless consciousness in humanity to cleave to it, 

— to desire to retain it. This desire was in Him a true 

and sinless utterance of humanity. And as we have 

seen in what truth of humanity, and how intensely, 

Christ was affected by the malice of the wicked, though 

as respected the perfection of His faith He could say, 

*'I have overcome the world;" so are we to understand 

that the eternal life in which He passed through death 

did not make death as nothing to Him, but that the 

true conception is, that it enabled Him perfectly to 

taste of death, — to taste of it as was only possible in 

the strength of eternal life. / 

Further, as our. Lord alone truly tasted death, so to 
Him alone had death its perfect meaning as the wages 
of sin, for in Him alone was there full entrance into the 
mind of God towards sin, and perfect unity with that 
mind. We have seen before, that the perfect confession 
of our sins was only possible to perfect holiness ; and so 
we may see also, that the tasting of death in full 
realisation of what it is, that God who gave life should 
recall it, holding it forfeited, was only possible to 
perfect holiness. 



\ 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH. 301 

How much this thought should suggest to us, as to 
the bitterness which belonged to the cup which Christ 
drank in tasting death for every man, we may not 
measure. Yet we can see the fitness of the presence of 
this element in Christ's cup of suffering, and that His 
perfect realisation of the relation of death to sin, 
naturally connected itself with the confession of the 
righteousness of the divine condemnation on sin, and 
the fulness and perfection of that confession, — the 
fulness of meaning of the response, " Thou art 
righteous, O Lord, who judgest so." For, thus, in 
Christ^s honouring of the righteous law of God, the 
sentence of the law was included, as well as the mind of 
God which that sentence expressed. In this light are 
we to see the death of Christ, as connected with His 
redeeming those that were under the law, that they 
might receive the adoption of sons. Had sin existed in 
men as mere spirits, death could not have been the 
wages of sin, and any response to the divine mind 
concerning sin which would have been an atonement 
for their sin, could only have had spiritual elements ; 
but man being by the constitution of humanity capable 
of death, and death having come as the wages of sin, it 
was not simply sin that had to be dealt with, but an 
existing law with its penalty of death, and that death 
as already incurred. So it was not only the divine 
mind that had to be responded to, but also, that 
expression of the divine mind which was contained in 
God's making death the wages of sin. 

This honouring of the law, while it was being made 
to give place to that higher dispensation to which it 
was subordinate from the first in the divine purpose, 
being also subordinate in its own nature, has, indeed, 
been followed out to its fullest measure, in that our 
Lord not onlv tasted death, but, that that death was 



302 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

the death of the cross, — as the Apostle says, " Christ 
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made 
a curse for us; as it is written. Cursed is every one 
that hangeth on a tree." Galatians iii. 13. He who 
endured the cross, despising the shame, did so as He 
tested death, of wiich the cross was for this reason the 
selected form, in that oneness of mind with God which 
rendered His doing so truly a fittmg element in the 
atonement; and thus in respect even of all that was 
most physical and external, the real value and virtue was 
strictly moral and spiritual : — for the tasting of death for 
us was not as a substitute, — otherwise He alone would 
have died ; nor as a punishment, — for, tasted in the 
strength of righteousness and of the Father's favour, 
death had to Him no sting; but as a moral and 
spiritual sacrifice for sin. And thus, as I have said 
above, while death taking place simply as such, and the 
wages of sin, had been no atonement, neither could 
come to be through the subjection to it of the countless 
millions of our sinful race, death filed with that moral 
and spimtual meaning in relation to God and His 
righteous law which it had as tasted by Christ, and 
passed through in the spirit of sonship, was the perfect- 
ing of the atonement. That personally our Lord was 
conscious to perfect freedom in relation to death, 
"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay 
down my life, that I might take it again. No man ^ 

taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself I have 
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it 
again. This commandment have I received of my 
Father,'^ John x. 17 — 18 ; this accords with the dif- 
ference between death coming as the wages of sin, and 
passing upon all men, for that all have sinned, and death 
as tasted by the Son of God ; tasted in the strength 
of eternal life, not as a punishment, but, on behalf of 



( 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH." 303 

men in righteous Amen to the judgment on sin, of 
which as the wages of sin, death is the expression. 

In this view we see the suitableness of the awfully 
solemn circumstances with which it seemed right to 
the Father to accompany the death of Christ. That 
darkness, which the evangelists record to have been 
over the earth from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, 
has been regarded as what in the natural world harmo- 
nised with, and was intended to symbolize, what was 
taking place in the spiritual world, when the vials of 
the Fathers wrath were pouring out on the Son. 
Minds in which this association has long found a place 
will not easily receive any other explanation of that 
darkness, as any other explanation must be felt to 
come so infinitely short of that most awful and terrible 
conception. Yet in itself, and apart from this associa- 
tion as already in possession of the mind, this darkness 
no more than accords with the presence and place of 
our sins as borne on the spirit of the Redeemer, in that 
awful, though blessed peace-making, the elements of 
which we have been considering, and which had its 
consummation on the cross ; while the language of the 
Roman centurion under the power of the whole scene, 
when the baptism in the prospect of which the Lord 
was so straitened received its accomplishment, " Surely 
this was the Son of God," recalls to us the testimony of 
the voice from heaven at His baptism by John in 
Jordan, " This is my beloved Son, " — recalls this 
testimony to us as one with that which reached the 
spirit of the centurion, making itself heard in spite of the 
permitted hour and power of darkness, and prevailing 
over the seeming meaning of that hour. We can, 
indeed, have no difficulty, apart from a fixed habit of 
thought, in seeing the harmony of the darkness 
recorded, with the relation of Christ's death to our sins 



304 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

as that relation has now been represented ; while the 
response from the spirit of the centurion to that which 
was the true expression of the awful scene as a whole, 
accords with the unbroken and continuous acknow- 
ledgment of the Son by the Father implied in the 
conception of the atonement, as altogether and through- 
out, ^' Grace reigning through righteousness unto eternal 
life." 

Reahsing the relation of the death of Christ to our 
sins, we thus feel all that was dark and terrible in the 
circumstances of His death justified to our minds; while 
the peace in which He is seen tasting death, illustrates 
to us the life of sonship in which He does so. But, 
realising further, that He who is putting this peaceful 
trust in the Father in death, is "by the grace of God 
tasting death for every man," we are learning much more 
than how the spirit of sonship can trust the Father 
even in death, though this by itself is a most important 
lesson, fitted to help us to realise the truth of our rela- 
tion to God as '^He on whose being our being reposes." 
This we are learning, but we are further learning how 
adequate and accepted the atonement for our sins 
which, in tasting death for us, the Son of God is per- 
fecting, is in His own consciousness before the Father. 
That relation to us in which the Son of God is seen 
tasting death — which relation, indeed, alone explains 
His being tasting death at all — gives this largeness of 
reference to the words, " Into thy hands, O Father, I 
commend my spirit," as we have seen in considering 
the 22nd Psalm. And so we are to connect the words 
just quoted as to our Lord's personal freedom in rela- 
tion to death, "Therefore doth my Father love me, 
because I lay down my life that T might take it again,'* 
with the words, " Except a com of wheat fall into the 
ground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH." 305 

forth much finiit;" and *^I, if I be lifted up, will draw 
all men unto me." John xii. 24, 32. 

Therefore, in endeavouring to conceive of our Lord's 
consciousness in cherishing this hope in death in 
humanity, and in relation to all humanity, that is, as a 
hope which His death was opening up to all men, we 
must have before our minds the atoning elements present 
in that consciousness as entering into that hope; for 
upon this depends the measure in which the death of 
Christ shall be filled for us with the light of life. Faith, 
it is said, will be imputed to us for righteousness, "if 
we believe on Him who raised up our Lord Jesus 
again from the dead ; who was deUvered for our 
offences, and .was raised again for our justification." 
Therefore, the faith in God by which we become 
righteous, must embrace our seeing our sins in the 
light shed upon them by the death of Christ, and our 
seeing our justification in the light shed upon it by 
His resurrection from the dead. 

And the first part of this statement is presupposed 
in the second. We cannot understand the ground of 
confidence for us in God which Christ's resurrection 
from the dead reveals, unless we understand the mind 
of God in relation to our sins which His death reveals, 
and in response to which He tasted death for us. That 
ground of confidence is the heart of the Father, be- 
cause with that heart the words deal, '* Into thy hands, 
O Father, I commend my spirit;" but the death itself, 
no less than the hope in death, is an element in the 
Son's revelation of the Father ; and unless that revela- 
tion is seen in that death, as well as in that hope in 
death, the true confidence of sonship to which that 
hope in death calls, is not understood. The condemna- 
tion of our sin in that expiatory confession of our sin 
which was perfected in the death of Christ, is not less 

CAMPB. 20 



306 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

a part of the revelation of the Father by the Son, than 
the trust in the depths of fettherliness in which life was 
asked and received for us. Indeed, these are ulti- 
mately but two aspects of one mind of God, who must 
condemn our life as rebellious children, according as 
He chooses for us and desires for us the life of true 
fionship. 

Our being planted in the likeness or fellowship of 
Christ's death is, therefore, a prerequisite to our fellow- 
ship in His resurrection from the dead. For, not only 
was His death no substitute for our death — superseding 
the necessity for our dying, — but, more than this, His 
death, as differing from death coming as the wages of 
sin, — His death as a propitiation for sin, tasted in the 
spirit of sonship, and in unity with the Father in His 
condemnation of sin, that is to say, death, as tasted 
by Christ, — must be not only apprehended by our faith, 
but also spiritually shared in by us. And such participa- 
tion in the death of Christ is, because of the unity that 
is in His life and death, necessarily implied in receiving 
Christ as our life ; for the mind in which He died is 
the mind in which He lived, and that condemnation of 
sin in the flesh, which was perfected and fully told out 
in His death, pervaded His life. Therefore is our 
"bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord 
Jesus,'* impUed in '' the life of Jesus being manifested 
in our mortal bodies." Therefore must we, knowing 
Christ, and experiencing the power of His resurrection 
from the dead as what enables us to have faith and 
hope in God, have fellowship in Christ's sufferingSy and 
he conformed to His death. 

The close and direct consideration of the death of 
Christ, and of His consciousness in tasting death for 
every man, saying, '^ Into thy hands, O Father, I com- 
mend my spirit," now attempted, may, as I have said. 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS ^^ TASTING DEATH." 807 

help US practically; illustarating the durectly and ab^ 
solutely practical aspect in which the cross of Christ 
is contemplated in the Scriptures. I have already 
noticed how we are taught by the hope for men ex-^ 
pressed in the 22nd psalm, in connexion with Gods 
hearing the cry of the afflicted and not hiding His face 
from him, that that fatherliness in God, in which the 
sinless One is trusting, is a fatherUness in which the 
sinfiil may trust. It is in the light of the confession of 
our sms as one aspect of the Ufe of sonship in Chris<>~ 
that side, as I have said above, on which the life of 
Christ is nearest us — that this is clear to us. That 
confession being undeistood, we feel that in receiving 
it, as a part of the mind of Christ, to be in us and be 
our own mind, we can freely breathe the life of sonship 
as confidence towards the Father, — ^we can share in the 
mind which the words express, " Into thy hands, O 
Father, I commend my spirit ;" we can share in that 
mind, both as it was through life the inmost element 
in the victory of the Son of God over the world, and as 
it was His victorious peace in death. Acting on this 
apprehension, taking to ourselves this confession, and 
saying Amen to it, entering by this path into the 
liberty of sonship, and in that liberty meeting life and 
meeting death, we come to know in ourselves what the 
Apostle meant when he said, "Gxxi forbid that I 
should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and 
I unto the world."* Galatians vi. 14. The fleshly life 
which the death of Christ condemns, the spiritual life 
which Christ's hope in death commends to our spirits, 
these are present to us in the enlightened contempla- 
tion of Christ as dying that we might live ; and, there^ 
fore, our uniting in the condenmation that His death 
expresses in relation to the life which it condemns, 

20—2 



308 THE DEA.TH OF CHRIST 

welcoming that life to be our life which His hope in 
death reveals and commends, — ^this, and our receiving 
Christ as our Saviour, are one and the same movement 
of our being, — ^a practical movement in the deepest sense, 
— ^a choice of the will, not as to acts, but as to life, — 
a choosing the life given to us in Christ that we may- 
live; — ^being that same practical judgment which the 
Apostle Paul expresses when he says, '^ For the love of 
Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if 
one died for all, then were all dead" — or, rather, then 
have all died — "and that He died for all, that they which 
live shoxild not henceforth live unto themselves, but 
unto Him which died for them, and rose again." 2 Cor. 
V. 14, 15. And the Apostle Peter al^, when he says, 
" Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the 
flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind. 
For He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased 
from sin ; that He no longer should live the rest of His 
time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the wiU of 
God." I Peter iv. i, 2. 

How such practical, living dealing with the cross 
of Christ as these quotations express, wiU confirm us m 
the faith to which it belongs ; how the " bearing about 
in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus," and "the 
manifestation of the Ufe of Jesus in our mortal bodies," 
wiU progress together and deepen in intensity; how 
the counsel of God in connecting us with Christ as He 
has done, and identifying us with Him in His death, 
and in His resurrection from the dead, wiU be more 
and more clearly seen to be to the glory of God accord- 
ing as we are conforming to this gracious constitution 
of the kingdom of God, dead in the death of Christ, 
and living that life which we have hid with Christ in 
God, — this, in the light of the atonement as now repre- 
pented, we easily understand. 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH/' 309 

But one caution my reader will here bear from me, 
supposing the teaching of these pages to be commend- 
ing itself to his understanding, and so to be giving me 
some claim on his weighing what I urge — viz. that it 
is the conscience much more than the understanding 
that is concerned in a right reception of teaching, 
which, if true at all, is pre-eminently, and in the 
deepest sense, practical teaching. I shall not feel it 
nothing that the argument should commend itself; but 
this consent of the understanding is a small matter 
unless the conscience feel, that that is presented to it 
which has power to purge it from dead works, to serve 
the living God ; — unless the spirit which has dwelt 
in the darkness land death of sin, see the path of life 
open before it, shining in the light of the divine favour; 
unless the orphan spirit find itself brought into the 
presence of its long-lost Father, who is waiting to 
receive it graciously, whose heart yearns to hear it 
cry, Abba, Father. To this result it is as necessary 
that the death of Christ, as filled with the divine judg- 
ment on sin, shall commend itself to the conscience, 
as that the life of Christ and His resurrection from the 
dead, revealing the hope which, when we had destroyed 
ourselves, remained for us in God, shall so commend 
itself. 

And let no man deceive himself, as if it were his 
experience that conscience responded to the latter 
revelation, and welcomed the light of life, while it 
responded not to the former, nor said "Amen" to 
that Amen to the divine judgment in relation to sin 
which was in the death of Christ, and gave it its 
atoning virtue. That would be to say that light 
may be light, and yet not make the darkness manifest* 
I have dwelt above on the fixedness of that law of 
the kingdom of God which the words express, — " Ne 



310 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

man cometh to the Father bnt by the Son." But 
HO man cometh by the Son who cometh not in tiie 
fellowship of His death, — "Thou hast washed us in 
thy blood, and made us kings and priests unto God.'' 

The deep and awful impression of what sin must 
be in the eyes of God, which men have received while 
contemplating the suflfering of Christ for our sins as 
His liaving the vials of divine wrath poured out on 
Him, has been recognised above as in itself a great 
gain, notwithstanding the darkness in which the mind 
of God towards sin and sinners was left by that 
view, and even the positive misconception which it 
contained. So real a gain has that deep and awful 
impression on the subject of sin been, that it would be 
an indication of having gone out of the right path to 
find that we were parting with it. But, assuredly, not 
kss profound or awful, while accompanied by a light of 
the glory of God not seen in that other system, is the 
sense of the evil and guilt of sin which is received when 
the sufferings of Christ become to our minds not the 
measure of what God can inflict, but the revelation of 
what God feels; that which the Son of God in our 
nature has felt in oneness with the Father, that into 
the fellowship of which He calls us in calHng us to be 
sons of God. 

I freely confess that to my own mind it is a relief, 
not only intellectually, but also morally and spiritually,, 
to see that there is no foundation for the conception 
that when Christ suffered for us, the just for the unjust. 
He suffered either " as by imputation unjust," or *^ as if 
He were unjust." I admit that inteUectually it is. a 
relief not to be called to conceive to myself a double 
consciousness — both in the Father and in the Son, such 
as seems implied in the Father's seeing the Son at one 
and the same time, though it were but. for a moment. 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH" 311 

as the well-beloved Son to whom infinite fevour should 
go forth, and also as worthy in respect of the imputation 
of our sins to Him of being the object of infinite wrath. 
He being the object of such wrath accordingly ; and in 
the Son^s knowing Himself the well-beloved of the 
Father, and yet having the consciousness of being 
personally through imputation of our sin the object 
of the Father's wrath, I feel it intellectually a relief 
neither to be called to conceive this, nor to assume it 
as an unconceived mystery. Still more do I feel it 
morally and spirituaUy a relief, not to be required to 
recognise legal fictions as having a place in this high 
region ; in which the awful realities of sin and holiness, 
spiritual death and spiritual life, are the objects of a 
transaction between the Father and the Son in the 
Eternal Spirit. And though it may seem to some that 
this admission may excuse in the reader the fear that 1 
have been less free of bias in considering this subject 
than was desirable, and that I have been less able to 
weigh justly the claims of the system which I have re- 
jected, in proportion as I feel it a rehef to be justified 
in concluding that it is not true, I must still in fairness 
make the admission. 

But while so many, as we have seen above, of those 
who believe in an atonement have latterly made the 
same avowal on the subject of imputation, and trans- 
ferred guilt, and merit, that I now make, — to whom 
therefore this avowal on my part will be no source of 
distrust as to the conclusions at which I have arrived, — 
it is to my own mind an additional source of freedom of 
feeling, besides the positive weight of the intellectual 
and moral difficulties involved in the system which I am 
rejecting, that the conception of the nature of the atone- 
ment which I have seemed to myself to receive in seek- 
ing to see it by its own light, is altogether independent 



312 THE DEATH OF CHRIST 

of the question of imputation^ neither needs the de- 
nial of imputation for its commendation. Whatever be 
supposed to have been the nature of the link between 
Christ and our sins^ it was needful that He should on 
our behalf deal with the righteous wrath of God against 
sin in that way which accorded with the eternal and 
unchanging truth of things. And that which has now 
been represented as the way in which He has actually 
done so, commends itself, as I have said above, as what 
would still have been the right and God-glorifying way 
had the identification of Christ with us and our sins 
been of a nature to justify even the boldest and most 
unbeUevable language ever ventured on this subject. 
The point of divergence of the two conceptions of the 
atonement is that at which, as we have seen, President 
Edwards stood when these two ways of satisfymg 
divine justice in relation to sin were together before his 
mind : an infinite punishment and an adequate repent- 
ance. Had these alternatives been dwelt on, even in 
connexion with that manner of taking of the place of 
those whom He came to save on the part of Christ 
which Edwards conceived of, the latter alternative 
would have commended itself as most to the glory of 
God; although its claim to be, as I hold, the only 
satisfaction to divine justice that could be called an 
atonement or propitiation were not at once perceived: 
for it woxild be felt to be the higher and more real 
satisfaction to the divine righteousness, while the former 
could be contemplated only as an infinitely unwelcome 
necessity. 

But these alternatives could not be fully reaUsed, 
and their different natures considered, without the mind's 
being led to that perception of the deep and funda- 
mental distinction between the conception of Christ's 
enduring as a substitute the penalty of sin, and Christ's 



CONTEMPLATED AS HIS '' TASTING DEATH." 313 

making in humanity the due moral and spiritual 
atonement for sin; and this perception, once reached, 
would have commanded for the truth the assent both of 
the understanding and the conscience, and would have 
claimed for it all the varied expressions of Scripture on 
this subject as what, however they had clothed another 
conception in men's systems, belonged of right to it, and 
expressed it — and it alone — naturally and truly. 

It would be a suitable and satisfactory sequel to 
what I have now presented to the reader's attention, to 
examine all tiiose portions of Scripture which are 
most identified in men's minds with the conception of 
the atonement as penal suffering endured by Christ as 
our substitute, and shew how much more naturally they 
express a moral and spiritual atonement, and how they 
are by the conception of such an atonement filled with 
light ; but I must satisfy myself for the present with 
what I have incidentally done in this way already. 
Nor, assuming the view expounded to be truth, can 
the reader who has fully received it have difficulty in 
doing this for himself Of the passages to which I 
refer, those as to which I would most urge the reader 
to engage in this task, are those in which the death of 
Christ is made the measure of the evil of sin; earnestly 
desiring as I do that His death may be that measure 
to our spirits, and feeUng that it never can be so as 
God has intended, unless we are understanding our 
calling to die to sin in ihe fellowship of His death, unless 
to us, as to the Apostle, to "win Christ, and be found in 
Him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the 
law, but that which is through the faith of Christy the 
righteousness which is of God by faith," — ^be identified 
with " knowing Christ, and the power of His resurrec- 
tion, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made 
conformable to His death." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION Of THE VIEW NOW TAKEN 
OP THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT AS TO (l) LIGHT^ 
(2) UNITY AND SIMPLICITY, (3) A NATURAL RELATION 
TO CHRISTIANITY, AND (4) HARMONY WITH THE DIVINE 
RIGHTEOCSNESS, 

MY conception of the nature of the atonement, and 
of its relation to the remission of sins and the gift 
of eternal Mfe, being now before my reader^ I might 
stop here, and leave it to receive that measure of 
consideration which, in the naked statement of it, it 
may be felt to claim for itself. If it come with that 
self-evidencing light to others^ with which it has come 
to me, it will not only commen d itself as the truths but 
also, by its light, reveal the root of error in any erroneous 
view which it may find in possession of the mind. Yet 
I cannot conclude without pointedly directing attention 
to some of the aspects in which it contrasts with the 
system with which it will be most compared. 

I. Understanding the words, " Lo, I come to do thy 
will, O God," to be the key to the atonement, and to 
contemplate that Eternal Will of God, in respect of the 
nature of which it is true that "God is love;" and that 
therefore the doing of this will by Christ is to be seen 
in this, that love was the law of the spirit of the life 
that was in Him; which took form in its outcomings 
according to its own nature, and as the path in which 
the Father led Him gave it development and manifes- 
tation, — the conception of the atonement received in 
tracing the work of redemption, has been fuU of light. 

For, however imperfectly I have executed the high 
task which I have attempted, I hope it has been felt 



COMPARATIVE COMMEKDATION OF THE VIBW^ &C. 315 

that the path in which I hare led the reader has been 
one in which the mind has advanced in conscious light. 
I do not, of course, mean the light of the conviction 
that what I have set forth as the atonement, has been 
the atonement; this has been my own consciousness^ 
and may, I trust, have been that of many of my read- 
ers : but I mean a conviction distinct from this, and 
which, I hope^ has been felt even when that ftirther 
conviction may not have been imparted, viz. the con- 
viction that all the elements of the work of Christ 
stated, were really present in that work; are seen 
clearly to have arisen out of the life that was in Him ; 
and are all what, in the light of that life, we can as 
to their nature understand, though their measure be 
beyond the grasp of our capacity. For this has been 
so, whether thiese elements in the work of Christ do, or 
do not, constitute its atoning virtue. 

Now this is an important point of contrast between 
what has now been taught, and the conception of the 
atonement as Christ's being, in respect of the imputa- 
tion of our sins, the object of the Father's wrath ; and 
so bearing, as our substitute, the punishment of our 
sins. Whatever light may be recognised in that system 
as shining from the work of Christ a>$ a whole, the great 
centred fact in it is so represented, as to remain neces- 
sarily shrouded in darkness. But what our Lord would 
feel in bearing our sins as His doing so has now been 
repres^ited, we can in measure enter into; and that, 
too, a measure which must enlarge, as the life of 
Christ progresses in us : while, as to its fulness, as 
it is our blessedness, in contemplating the work of 
our redemption, to be occupied with the height, and 
depth, and breadth, and length of a love which passes 
knowledge; so is it also to an experience of suflfering 
and self-sacrifice on our behalf, which passes knowledge. 



316 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

that our faith is directed; the measure as the nature of 
Christ's sufferings being that of the divine love which 
experienced them. 

But the difference is immense, even the difference 
between light and darkness, between knowing in mea^ 
sure what passeth knowledge, and not knowing at oM : 
and this, and nothing less, is the difference between, 
knowing, as to their nature, the elements of Christ's 
sufferings, being ourselves called to the fellowship of 
them, and knowing nothing of their nature at all. 
And, assuredly, whatever elements of Christ's suffer- 
ings are still held to be what we are to understand^ 
and to share in, that special suffering which was proper 
to the assumed consciousness of having our sin imputed 
to Him, and its punishment inflicted on Him; that 
which is represented as the personal sense of the 
Father's wrath coming out on Him personally,- the 
wrath of God coming forth on the Son of His love: 
this is, and must be to us, simply darkness — a horror of 
darkness, without one ray of light. 

The conception that Christ suffered as our substitute 
— so by His suffering superseding the necessity for our 
suffering, itself implies that the sufferings of His which 
such expressions contemplate, must remain in then- 
nature unknown to us; an experience in our Lord's 
humanity which, though it has been an experience in 
humanity, we have not been intended to share in: a 
conception that seems to me improbable in the bare 
statement of it. For an experience of the Son of God 
in humanity not within reach of man's vision as pat- 
taking in the divine nature, is to me what there is a 
strong presumption against. How much that deeply- 
meditating believer in Christ, President Edwards, has 
ventured to expect in the way of imderstanding the 
elements of Christ^s sufferings, we have seen above ; 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 317 

while we have also seen how unsuited to his concep- 
tion of their being penal sufferings, the sufferings which 
he has specified are, though altogether in accordance 
with the conception of the atonement now advocated. 
But all beyond what he has thus specified, which the 
words " the Father's wrath," may be expected to sug- 
gest, however awfiil it must be supposed to be, must 
be felt to remain — ^necessarily to remain — unconceived 
of. Men's minds are indeed accustomed to this dark- 
ness as resting upon the central point in the great 
work of redemption. Yet surely it is a presumption 
in favour of the view of the atonement now taken, 
that it makes that central point no longer darkness, but 
light — the light of the life of Christ concentrated in 
His death ; or rather present in His death, in a fiilness 
which sheds back light on all His life. 

2. The life of Christ being the light of life to us, 
and the atonement being the form of that life, it must 
needs be light, and not darkness. That which sheds 
light on all else must needs be light in itself, and be 
visible in its own light ; as we not only see aU things 
by the Ught of the sun, but also the sun itself. Further, 
that in the nature of the atonement, which imparts to 
it this character of light, also imparts that of simplicity 
and unity. 

Although I have found it necessary to consider the 
work of Christ in the two aspects of a dealing with man 
on the part of God, and with God on behalf of man; 
and in the two references of a retrospective relation to 
the remission of sins, and a prospective relation to the 
gift of eternal life ; I trust the unity and simplicity and 
natural character of a life has been felt to belong to 
all that has been thus traced. It is all grace reigning 
through righteousness unto eternal life. All is in har- 
mony with the purpose, " Lo, I come to do thy will, O 



318 DOMPARATITE COMMENDATION OV THE VIEW 

God;" and is its natural development terminating in 
its perfect accomplishment An unbroken testimony 
on the part of the Father to the beloved Son in whom 
He is well pleased ; an unbroken consciousness in the 
Son SB hearing the Father's voice^ abiding in the 
Fatter s love, strong in the strength of the life that is 
in the Father's fevour, able to drink the cup of suffer- 
ing given Him to drink because receiving it from His 
Father^s hand, the last utterance of His inner life in 
man's hearing being the words in death, '^nto thy 
hands, O Father, I commend my spirit;" from first to 
last the Son doing nothing of Himself all His speak- 
ing because of an inwaiti hearing of the Father, aU 
His works the doing of the Father ih&t dweUeth in 
Him, all His strength the ^rength of fsiith, all His 
peace, all His joy, — ^peace and joy in conscious oneness 
with the Father, all His consolation in the prospect 
of desertion drawn from the assurance, that, though all 
forsake Him, He is not alone, because the Father is 
Tdth Him ; the bearing of tlie heavy burden of our sins, 
accomplished in the might of a hope sustained by the 
consciousness that what of pain they were to His heart, 
they were also to the Father's heart ; that what of 
interest we were to His heart we were also to the 
Father's heart: therefore His separating between us 
and our sins. His intercession, "Father, forgive them; 
for they know not what they do," — a separating, an 
intercession, in the assurance of the response of the 
Father's righteous mercy : — ^in this I say is unity, and 
harmony, and divine simplicity. We can trace all this 
back to the purpose, ^^Lo, I come to do thy will." 
Had it been given to us to hear the expression of 
that purpose, and were it permitted to us to follow its 
ftdfilment with a perfect spiritual vision, all would be 
seen to be in accordance with it, and to be made clear 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATUEE OF THE ATONEMENT. 319 

to US, step by step, by its UghL The path thus trode we 
should expect to find all lying within the li^t of the 
Father's fevour; and it has been so. Suffering and 
sorrow we should not anticipate, apart from what we 
might understand of the nature of sin, with which the 
Son of God was come to deal in the might of the 
eternal righteousness ; but for suffering and sorrow and 
eelf-sacrifice in accomplishing the end of righteous love, 
we should understand that love was prepared ; and if 
any difficulty should be felt as to suffering coming to 
the holy One and the true, it must pass away, — I <^n 
only express my own experience by saying it has passed 
away, in contemplating these sufferings as they arise, 
and in considering and apprehending their nature ; the 
unity with the Father out of which they spring, the 
unity with the Father in which they are bom; and 
the justification of the Father in relation to them, in 
their divine fitness to accomplish the ends of the 
Father's love in sending the Son to do His will in 
humanity, and reveal His name to men, — even as they 
were thus justified to the sufferer Himself, "Now is my 
soul troubled ; and what shall I say ? Father, save me 
from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this 
hour. Father, glorify thy name." 

What is thus seen endured in conscious oneness 
with the Father, as a necessary element in the Son's 
glorifying of the Father, and in the strength and with 
the comfort of the Father's acknowledgment, we can 
beUeve in as a cup which the Father gave the Son to 
drink, and which the Son welcomed from the Father's 
hand. But if we are asked to see the path which the 
Son is treading in doing the Father's will, declaring 
His name, as, at a certain point, passing out of the 
Father's fiivour into His wrath ; and that a demand is 
made on us for the faith of a consciousness both in the 



320 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

Father and in the Son, m then* relation to each other, 
which would make this statement a reality : or if the 
conception be not that of transition,- but that we are 
asked to combine with the faith of a favour always 
resting upon the Son, the faith of a wrath from the 
Father as also proceeding forth upon Him; however 
other grounds for this faith may be urged, or whatever 
weight may be asserted for them — ^which question I am 
not at this moment considering — it is clear that the 
unity and harmony and natural character of what we 
have been contemplating as the fulfilment of the 
purpose, " Lo, I come to do thy will," is marred, and 
the commendation on this ground at least, of that which 
is presented to our faith, ceases. 

3. This unity and simplicity and natural charaxrter 
of the atonement, contemplated as the form which the 
life of love in Christ took — the natural development of 
the incarnation — is still further commended to us by its 
imparting a corresponding unity and simphcity to the 
relation of the atonement to Christianity. If the atone- 
ment be the form which the eternal life took in Christ, 
that eternal life which the Father has given to us in 
the Son, then, as the atonement is the development of 
the incarnation, so is Christianity the development of 
the atonement; and this is only what the words, *'I am 
the vine, ye are the branches," express. 

The fitness of all the elements that have been now 
recognised as present in the personal consciousness of 
Christ in humanity in making His soul an offering for 
sin, to enter into the experience of Christians, and be 
the elements of their lives, must have been commend- 
ing itself to the reader as we have proceeded. These 
elements of our Lord's consciousness as the rays of the 
light of the life that was in Him, have that relation to 
us and our state, that, shining in us in faith, they 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 32t 

necessarily reproduce themselves in us, that is, accord- 
ing to the measure of our faith ; man and God, sin and 
holiness, becoming to us in the light of Christ what 
that light reveals them to be, and the confession of sin 
and the choice of holiness, self despair and trust in 
God, springing up in us : a confession of sin in unison 
with Christ's confession of our sins, a trust in God 
quickened by the faith of His trust in the Father on 
our behalf, and laying hold on that in the Father's 
heart on which His intercession laid hold. The atone- 
ment thus through faith reproduces its own elements in 
us, we being raised to the fellowship of that to which 
Christ descended in working out our salvation. "We 
are crucified with Christ" in actual consciousness, as 
we were in the death of Christ for us in the counsel 
and grace of the Father : "Nevertheless we live ; yet 
not we but Christ in us." 

Let our minds rest on this unity between the 
atonement and Christianity, How natural a sequel to 
the atonement is Christianity thus seen to be ! Christ's 
work shared in through being trusted to, or rather 
trusted to with a trust which is of necessity a sharing 
in it. No need here to watch ourselves that we may 
not only trust to Christ, but also receive Him as our 
life ; for in the light in which we are, these are but two 
forms of expression for one movement of our inner 
man. For, as I would ever keep before the reader's 
mind, trust in the work of Christ is, in its ultimate 
reference, trust in that fatherly heart in God which 
that work reveals, and such trust is the pulse and 
breath of our new life — the life of sonship. 

But this natural relation of Christianity to the 
atonement, and which I believe to be a part of the 
simplicity which is in Christ, disappears when we 
would pass to Christianity from that other conception 

CAMPB. 21 



322 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

of the work of redemption according to which the 
atonement and the life given to us in Christy are 
totally distinct and diverse in their nature ; so that we 
are taught to keep them distinct in our thoughts, 
trusting to the one whUe we welcome the other. 

To any seeking a clear, intelligent consciousness 
in religion, the complexity of this teaching appears to 
me to involve practical difficulties which have been 
unaccountably little felt. As to the sufferings of Christ, 
whatever sufferings of His may still be considered 
as what we are to share in, (and the words "if we 
suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him," must 
be held to imply that such sufferings there are,) it is 
clear, that sufferings assumed to have been the punish- 
ment of our sins, endured by Christ as our substittUe, 
we cannot be intended to share in, not even though, 
as to their outward form and circumstances, they 
should be repeated in our history ; for still they would 
not be sufferings endured as the wrath of God and the 
punishment of sin, inflicted on us as having the guilt of 
sin imputed to us. Indeed, were we to see one profess- 
ing trust in Christ, suffering with this consciousness, we 
should feel that he was therein denying Christ, and 
making His death for sin of none effect. Therefore 
any consciousness that is ascribed to Christ, on the 
assumption of His being consciously bearing our sins as 
what the Father imputed to Him, and what drew forth 
the Father's wrath upon Him personally, must be ex- 
eluded from what ihl example which Christ is to us 
comprises. 

But even as to the righteousness of Christ as that 
is conceived of, how was He in fiilfiUing all righteousness, 
as His doing so is represented in this system, an 
example to us ? He is supposed as one under the law, 
to be consciously engaged in meeting its demands. 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 323 

working out a legal righteousness to be imputed to us. 
But this is not a consciousness which we are supposed 
to be called to share, being riot under the law but under 
grace. So while His righteousness is represented as a 
perfect legal righteousness, it is as such put in opposi- 
tion to the righteousness contemplated for us, which is 
the righteousness of faith. Now I am not at present 
considering the objections otherwise to this manner of 
conception ; I here consider it only in relation to the 
recognition of Christ as our example, and I request 
those who, while adopting these distinctions, propose to 
themselves to follow Christ as an example, to consider 
how, adhering to these distinctions, they can attempt 
to follow Christ as an example in relation to His inner 
life — the springs of His action — the conscious right- 
ness of His righteousness — His conscious confidence 
towards God — His walk with God. I do not see how 
they can do so with conscious inward consistency. No 
doubt Christ did fulfil the law— did fulfil all righteous- 
ness ; not, however, in a legal spirit y but as the Son of 
Godi following God a^ a dear child. Therefore, in the 
true conception of this matter there is no practical diffi- 
culty, Christ's righteousness as the form of the law of the 
spirit of the life that was in Him, being, in the strictest 
and most absolute sense, an example for us who have 
the life of sonship in Him, and in whom the righteous- 
ness of the law is to be fiilfiUed in our walking in His 
spirit. 

The complication introduced in consequence of this 
departure from the simplicity of the truth, is obviously 
still fiirther increased when we add to the assumed pre- 
sence in Christ of the sense of an imputation of sin, the 
presence in us of the sense of the imputation of right- 
equsness ; a consciousness which could have had nothing 
corresponding with it in the consciousness of Christ. 

21—2 



324 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

But, in whatever way these practical difficulties in 
walking in the footsteps of the Son of God, in the 
highest sense which these words can bear, may be dealt 
with, the fitness of the atonement, as now contemplated, 
to be reproduced in us, and, on the other view of its 
nature, its imfitness to be so reproduced, are alike clear ; 
and, apart from other and more fundamental aspects 
of the subject, I certainly feel that greater simplicity, a 
more natural character in the transition from the work 
of Christ to our calling as Christians, is a consideration 
to which weight is due. 

4. I say ''apart from other and more frindamental 
aspects of the subject." For, while it certainly accords 
to my mind with the assumption that the true con- 
ception has been reached, that the atonement is thus 
seen filled with the light of the life of Christ — charac- 
terised by the simplicity and unity proper to a life— and 
standing to Christianity in the natural relation of the 
life that is in the vine to the life that is in the branches ; 
yet these appearances are comparatively superficial, 
and must be delusive, however beautiful, unless the 
atonement which they commend is in harmony with 
the divine righteousness, and such as meets the demands 
of the eternal laws of the kingdom of God. Therefore 
an appeal to these must still remain. 

I have already expressed my accordance with 
President Edwards in his founding on the absolute 
righteousness of God, and my greater sympathy with 
him than with those who ascend no higher than what 
they express by the words "rectoral justice." Doubt- 
less what meets the requirements of absolute righteous- 
ness must secure the interests of rectoral justice ; while 
it is not easy to see — I cannot see — how the interests 
of rectoral justice can be felt secure if the requirements 
of absolute righteousness are compromised, or even are 



' .'^ 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 325 

not seen to be taken into account. But in whichever 
relation the atonement is contemplated, the superiority 
of the moral and spiritual atonement, which I have now 
attempted to illustrate, seems to me clear. That such 
an atonement lay within the limits of the principles of 
eternal rectitude on which Edwards builds, we have 
seen in the alternatives which he states. And, being 
contemplated as within these limits, I have no doubt 
that, if realised, its higher character must be recognised. 
I would indeed rather speak of its exclusive claim to 
meet adequately the demand of the eternal righteous- 
ness ; but its higher character as a meeting of that de- 
mand is beyond question; and, if so, then also its 
superiority as that moral demonstration and vindication 
of God's rectoral government which the teachers of the 
modified Calvinism regard as what was called for. 

This much I feel justified in saying, even looking at 
the question with exclusive reference to the honouring 
of the divine law. But when we consider, that the 
highest honouring of the law cannot be recognised as 
an atonement for sin apart from the prospective result 
contemplated^ — as, indeed, but with a view to such a 
result an atonement could never have been, — the 
natural relation of the atonement to Christianity now 
illustrated, and which in its first aspect so commends 
itself to us, is seen, when more deeply considered, to 
be of ftindamental importance. 

Some, I know, are so far from feeling that a natural 
relation between the atonement and Christianity is 
necessary, or to be looked for, that they draw back 
from the attempt to trace such a relation as what they 
would call reducing the work of atonement to the mere 
setting an example before us, — and, considering the 
associations which exist with making the example of 
Christ the sum and substance of Christianity, great 



326 COMPARATIYB COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

jealousy on this subject may well be excused. Yet 
that jealousy may go too far. If to represent the 
atonement as what we are intended to participate in, 
having its elements reproduced in us, be to lower the 
conception of an atonement, must it not be held also 
that it is a lowering of our conception of the divine 
nature to say that the gospel contemplates our partici- 
pation in it — ^that it is a lowering of our conception 
of what is said when it is said *'God is love," to speak 
of men as '^dwelling in love," and so "dwelling in 
God?" I know that such thoughts of the relation of 
the human to the divine may be so entertained as to 
lower our conceptions of God, rather than to raise our 
conceptions of that to which God calls man; but that 
the latter, and not the former, ought to be their 
operation, is unquestionable. So of the atonement as 
now represented, if it has been a form which the 
eternal life took in Christ, a form determined by the 
nature of that life and the circumstances in which it 
was developed, it follows, that in the measure in which 
we partake in that eternal life, we shall partake in the 
atonement, and have it reproduced in us: though not 
with the same personal consciousness as in the Saviour, 
who, as I have said, came down in saving us to that to 
which in being saved we are raised. But so to con- 
ceive is surely not to have our conceptions of the 
atonement lowered, but only our conceptions of Chris- 
tianity exalted. And let not the expression ^'example" 
turn us away. For as to the dignity that may belong 
to an example let us remember the exhortations "Be 
ye followers of God as dear children," " Be ye therefore 
perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." 

But, indeed, apart from this, the truth is that the 
use of the expression "example" is misleading. The 
relation of our participation in the atonement to the 






NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 327 

atonement, is radically a different thing from what the 
words "following an example" suggest. Each slender 
branchy each leafy twig of the tree, with its fixiit- 
blossom or ripened fruit, may recal the plant in its first 
form as a single stem, y^t with aU its proper nature and 
beauty already visible in it, with that richness of leaf, 
and blossom, and fruit which belongs to the first de- 
velopment of the life of plants ; but these reproductions 
of the original plant in its branches are not individual, 
independent, self-reliant plants. It drew, as it draws, 
its life from the ground; they draw their Ufe from it: 
Christ is the vine ; we are the branches. As it is no 
depreciating of the life seen in the plant while yet a single 
stem, to say, that that same life is the contemplated life 
of its future branches ; so neither is it a depreciation 
of the atonement to say, that that eternal life which 
glorified God, and wrought redemption for man, in the 
personal work of Christ on earth, is the same that is to 
be seen bearing fruit to the gloiy of God in us in our 
participation in redemption. Such conceptions neither 
depreciate the atonement nor affect the absoluteness of 
our dependence on Christ ; on the contrary, the relation 
of the branch to the vine alone represents that de* 
pendence adequately. And this will, I trust, meet 
a difficulty which really arises from feeling the ex- 
pression "example" suggestive of individuality, and 
individual independence, as if we were to be indi- 
vidually each another Christ, and our participation in 
the atonement itself an atonement, our participation in 
the propitiation itself a propitiation. 

But, it is not only that this recognition of a natural 
relation between the atonement and Christianity is in 
itself no objection to the view which implies it, and 
can only under misapprehension of what is taught, be 
regarded as reducing the work of Christ to a mere 



328 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

example. The truth is, that the discernment of this 
natural relation becomes essential to our faith in the 
xidequacy of the atonement in proportion as we see the 
subject of atonement in the light of God. No doubt 
the perfect response from humanity to the divine mind 
in relation to our sins, which has been in Christ's con- 
fession of our sins before the Father, has been the due 
and proper expiation for that sin, — an expiation infinite- 
ly more glorifying to the law of God, than any penal 
suflfering could be ; but that confession, as it would not 
have been at all, but in connexion with that interces- 
sion for the transgressors which laid hold of the divine 
mercy on our behalf, so neither would it have been the 
suitable and adequate atonement for cmr sm apart from 
its fitness to be reproduced in uSy and the contemplated 
result of its being so reproduced. No doubt the per- 
feet righteousness of Christ seen a^ the perfection of 
sonship in humanity, and acknowledged in the words, 
*' This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleaded," 
is a higher, righteousness than obedience in aay legal 
aspect of it; and, if fruits of righteousness could be 
dispensed to us, either in connexion with imputation, 
or without imputation, on the ground of the righteous- 
ness of another, otherwise than in the reproduction of 
that righteousness in ourselves, here was the highest 
righteousness, the divine righteousness in humanity: 
but that righteousness could never have been accounted 
of in our favour, or be recognised as " ours," apart from 
our capacity of partaking in it ; that is to say, apart 
from its being a righteousness in humanity, and, there- 
fore, for aU partaking in humanity. 

In order that the importance of this natural relation 
between the atonement and Christianity may be clearly 
seen, the relation in which the joy of God in Christians 
stands to his perfect dehght in Christ, must be under- 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 329 

stood. I have already had occasion to express my ob- 
jection to what is held on this subject in connexion 
with imputation of righteousness, or the transference of 
the fruits of righteousness, assumed to be implied in 
justification by faith. There has been in this matter a 
subverting of the natural relation of things, which 
has caused much darkness. The end has been re- 
presented as valued for the sake of the means ; not 
the means for the sake of the end. The very excel- 
lence inherent in the means has partly led to this. 
When we look at the work of Christ, viewed simply in 
itself, it is seen filled with a divine glory, and a moral 
and spiritual excellence is felt to belong to it so great 
that God alone can perfectly appreciate it. To say that 
it is the Eternal Will of God fulfilled, is to say that it 
is in itself infinitely acceptable to God. When, then, 
the remission of our sins, and the gift of Eternal life, 
are preached to us in connexion with that excellent 
glory to God in humanity, we feel that any acknow- 
ledgment of it that can be, is to be looked for ; and, 
also, that nothing granted on the ground of it can be 
otherwise than safely granted, for that mercy flowing 
through such a channel must be holy : so that we easily 
receive the. statement, that pardon of past sin,'and pro- 
spective blessings, are all given to us for Christ's sake, 
and because of the perfect atonement which Christ has 
made for our sin, and God's perfect delight in him ; 
and this, if we are in the light of God in the matter, 
we cannot do too readily or too confidently. And yet 
our lack of spiritual discernment, and of participation 
in the mind of God, combined, also, I would say, with 
our unenlightened sense of the evil and danger of our 
condition as sinners, may lead to our resting in notions 
of the meaning of the expression, " for Christ's sake,'* 
which are superficial and even erroneous. And this i? 



830 COHPARATITE OOMMENDATION OF THE VIEW 

sore to be the case if we enter not into these two 
great truths, viz. 

1 . Though; in a true sense^ and one which it is most 
important that we should apprehend, remission of sins, 
and the gift of eternal life, are presented to our faith 
as resting on the atonement, and as the redemption 
which Christ has accomplished for us ; yet is the ulti- 
mate ground of these, and of the atonement itself in its 
relation to these, to be seen in Gk>d, who is to be con- 
ceived of, not as moved to give us remission of sins and 
eternal life by the atonement, but as self-moved to give 
us remission of sins and eternal life, and as giving them 
through the atonement as what secures that what is 
given shall be received, on the ground of that in God 
which moves Him to this grace, and in harmx)ny with 
His mind in bestowing it. So that to stop at the 
atonement, and rest in the fact of the atonement, 
instead of ascending through it to that in God from 
which it has proceeded, and which demanded it for its 
due expression, is to misapprehend the atonement as to 
its nature, and place, and end. It has been truly said, 
that men have perverted creation, and, instead of using 
it as a glass through which to see God, have turned it 
into a veil to hide God. I believe the greater work of 
redemption has been the subject of a similar perversion. 
It is the commendation of the light in which Christ's 
doing of the Father's wiU, Christ's declaring of the 
Father's name, has now been contemplated, that, as I 
have said, it ever raises the mind to the Eternal Will, 
the Unchanging Name. 

2. As it is thus necessaiy, in order tibat we may 
not misunderstand the expression ''for Christ's sake," 
that we ascend from the work of Christ, and through 
it, to that in God because of which that work has 
itself been, and to which, therefore, we must refer all 






NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT, 331 

that springs out of it; so is it necessaiy that, on the 
other hand, we descend from the work of Christ to its 
results, and, viewing these as its fruits, see that work 
as means to an end, and, therefore, a^ having its ulti- 
mate value in the sight of God in the excellence of that 
end, and its adequacy to accomplish it. This going 
forward to the result is inevitable if we go back to 
where redemption has its origin in the divine mind. 
We cannot stop between. For the work of Christ, 
while of infinite excellence in itself, has its special value 
as the work of redemption in the excellence of its 
result. If Christ were a mere man, His exceUence in 
Himself, could such excellence have been in a mere 
man, would have been enough to satisfy the mind as 
to God's glory in Him : but, seeing the perfection of 
sonship — Uke the perfection of fatherliness — as divine, 
and eternal, and, as respects the Son of God, only 
manifested in humanity and not then come into eoo- 
istence, this divine excellence in humanity in the person 
of Christ, is seen as in humanity with a view to results 
in all humanity. Therefore these results are not to be 
regarded as excellent in the sight of God, and justified 
because of that divine excellence in humanity; but 
rather the existence of that divine excellence in huma- 
nity is to be seen by us in the light of these results, 
and God's ultimate glory in it is to be seen in them* 
This is saying no more than what our Lord plainly 
teaches, when He says, "I am the vine, ye are the 
branches. Herein is my Faiher glorified that ye bear 
much fruit.'' 

Now the origin of the atonement in God, and its 
result in man, have been kept constantly before the 
mind in the view now given of the nature of the atone- 
ment ; and any misconceptiop of the expression '^ f(5r 
Christ's sake "has been precluded : as it is also obvious, 



332 COMPARATIVE COMMENDATION OF THE TIEW 

that all practical using of the atonement as now repre- 
sented — ^all turning the knowledge of it to account in 
our personal intercourse with God, — must be in the 
-way of an ascending through it to that in God from 
which it springs, and a yielding ourselves to God to 
have that which it has contemplated accomplished in us. 
This movement in our inner being — this moulding 
of us to itself — the atonement, apprehended by a true 
and living faith, necessarily accomplishes ; and its ten- 
dency to secure this result, is one element in our &ith, 
when we first believe; as also the experience of this 
power in it is the great subsequent strengthening of 
our faith. Ascending upwards to the mind of God, 
into the light of which the atonement introduces us, 
and descending again to the ultimate fulfilment of that 
mind in men washed from their sins in the blood of 
Christ, and made kings and priests unto God, and 
reigning with Christ, we not only feel a harmony and 
simplicity and beauty in the natural relation of the 
atonement to Christianity, but we are also conscious to 
finding in that natural relation a chief and most sure 
ground for our faith in the atonement, and in remission 
of sins, and eternal life, as presented to us in connexion 
with it. Every time we are enabled, in spirit and iu 
truth, through participation in the spirit of Christ, to 
confess sin before God, and meet His mind towards 
sin with such a response as, in the &ith of pardon and 
liberty of sonship, we are enabled to give, we have a 
clearer glimpse of the excellence of Christ's expiatory 
confession of our sins, and of the righteousness of God 
in accepting it on our behalf, to the end that we might 
thus share in it. Every time we lisp, in whatever feeble- 
jiess, the cry, Abba, Father, having that cry quickened 
in us by the revelation of the Father by the Son, we 
see with the peculiar insight which the experiejice of the 



NOW TAKEN OF THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. 333 

fulfilment of the divine counsel in ourselves can alone 
give, the excellence of that kingdom ordained in the 
hands of a Mediator, according to which eternal life in 
the Son is the Father's free gift. But this direct occu- 
pation of our own conscience with the elements of the 
blood of Christ, and with the nature of the hope in God 
in which He tasted death for every man, is a source of 
deep certainty as to the glory of God in our redemption 
through Christ, which exclusively belong^ to the view 
of the atonement, according to which our trust in it is 
necessarily feUowship in it— that feUowship a Ught in 
which the sure grounds of our trust are ever more and 
more clearly seen. For this character can only belong 
to an atonement, whose nature admite of ite reprc^ 
duction in us, so that its elements become matter of 
consciousness to ourselves. 



( 

I 



CHAPTER XV. 

THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, THE XTLTIMATB 
TRUTH ON WHICH FAITH MUST HERE ULTIMATELY BEST. 

THAT natural relation of the atonement to Chris- 
tianity» on which so much weight has now been 
laid, is the fuHl meeting of a demand which must be 
more or less felt in any deep realisation of the divine 
righteousness; the demand which is so far met when 
those who represent our acceptance with God as turn- 
ing upon our trust in the merits of Christ's work, are I 
still careful to illustrate the moral tendency of such ^ 
trust, founding systems of "Christian Ethics" on the 
atonement ; the demand which is recognised when those 
who regard the actual imputation of Christ's righteous- 
ness as what justifies us in the sight of God, are carefiil 
to deny the character of justifying fiiith to any faith 
that does not sanctify: for Luther alone have we found 
setting forth the excellent righteousness which is in the 
faith which justifies viewed in itself. In truth, all care 
to exclude antinomianism, in whatever way that care is 
expressed, is an indication of the depth and authority 
of the feeling which forbids our ascribing to the right- 
eous God any constitution of spiritual and moral 
government, which does not contemplate results in 
harmony with the divine righteousness, and which has 
not its justification in these results. So that, though, 
in form of thought, a near approach is made to saying, 
that the great husbandman values the fiiiitfiil branch, 
not because of His delight in the fruit it bears, but be- 
cause of His delight in the imputed excellence of the 
vine; still the real feeling of the heart is in harmony 



THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS. 336 

with the words of our Lord, " Herein is my Father glo* 
rifled, that ye bear much finit." But, as these words, 
*^ Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much firuit," 
indicate, we find that it is only in the light of the rela- 
tion in which the scheme of redemption stands to the 
fatherliness pf God that the necessity for a natural rela- 
tion of the atonement to Christianity can be adequately 
conceived of 

The great and root-distinction of the view of the 
atonement presented in these pages, is the relation in 
which our redemption is regarded as standing to the 
fatherliness of God. In that fatherliness has the atone* 
ment been now represented as originating. By that 
fatherliness has its end been represented to have been 
determined. To that fatherliness has the demand for the 
elements of expiation found in it been traced. But the 
distinction is broad and unmistakeable between simple 
mercy proposing to save ifrom evils and bestow bles- 
sings, and finding it necessary to deal with justice as 
presenting^ obstacles to the realisation of its OTacious 
de8igns,-which conception is that on which thTother 
view of the atonement proceeds } and this of the love of 
the Father of our spirits going forth after us. His 
alienated children, lost to Him, dead to Him through 
sin, and desiring to be able to say of each one of us, 
'^ My son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and 
is found." 

Not, indeed, that supposing the only elements of 
the divine character concerned in determining the na- 
ture of the atonement to have been mercy and right- 
eousness, the conception to which I object, would meet 
the requirements of these attributes more adequately 
than that which I oflfer instead. On the contrary, the 
moral and spiritual expiation for sin which Christ has 
made, has dealt with the justice of God, whether con- 



336 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

templated as absolute or as rectoral, in a way infinitely 
more glorifying to the law of God, and more fitted to 
open a free channel for mercy to flow in, than an atone- 
wient consisting in the endurance of penal sufferings by 
the Son of God as our substitute, would have done* 
But while this lower groimd is tenable, we should not 
be justified in coining down frx)m the point of view to 
which the gospel raises us, to what, while true, is not 
the ultimate truth revealed. So to do, would be to 
forget that the gospel, and not the law, affords us full 
light here ; the law being subordinate to the gospel, as 
our relation to God as our righteous Lord, is subordi- 
nate to our relation to Him as the Father of our spirits, 
— ^the original and root-relation, in the light of which 
alone all God's dealings with us can be understood. 
How far, indeed, this subordinating of our relation to 
God as we are the subjects of His righteous rule, to our 
relation to Him a« we are His offspring, is from depre^ 
ciating that which is subordinated^ has, I trust, been 
made abundantly manifest, seeing that it is the law of 
the spirit of the life that is in Christ Jesus, that is to 
say, sonship, in which alone the power is found to 
accomplish the fiilfilment of the righteousness of the 
law in us, and that our being reconciled to God, whose 
law we have violated, — ^the writing of His law on our 
hearts, so that it becomes to us a law of liberty, is the 
result of revealing to us our Father in our Lawgiver, 
and shewing us the law of the Lawgiver in its fountain 
in the Father's heart. 

But while to reveal the Father in the Lawgiver is 
that which reconciles us to the Lawgiver, the only 
adequate statement of the high result accomplished, is, 
that it is reconciliation to the Father, — ^the quickening 
in us of the hfe of sonship. However high a conception 
it is that the "disobedient should be turned to the wis- 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 337 

dom of the just," that alone is commensurate with the 
excellence of the salvation granted to us which is con- 
veyed by the words, " Following God as dear children 
walking in love." 

As to the place now recognised as belonging to the 
fatherliness of God in the history of our redemption, viz. 
that it is the ultimate ground for faith, I would add to 
what I have urged above these two considerations: ist. 
It is a special glory to God that the fatherliness, which 
originates oiy: salvation, and determines its nature — that 
it shall be the hfe of son ship — is itee^that in which the 
saving power resides. For, as we have seen, the Son of 
God saves us by a work whose essence and sum is the 
declaring of the Father's Name. A result so high, ac- 
complished by the power over our spirits found to be in 
the Name of God, — that is to say in what God is, is 
manifestly the highest glory to God. No result refer- 
able to simple Almightiness could be the same glory. 
That God should by a miracle change a rebellious child 
into a loving child, would be no such glory to God, as 
that the knowledge of the fatherliness rebelled against, 
should, by virtue of the excellence inherent in that 
fatherliness, accomphsh this result. "We love Him 
because He first loved us." The power to quicken 
love in us is here ascribed to the love with which God 
regards us, considered simply as love. For it clearly 
is not the meaning, that, because God loved us. He 
wrought a miracle of Almighty power to make us love 
Him. And do we not feel a special glory to accrue to 
the divine love from this, as the history of our love to 
God? a special glory which vanishes, whatever other 
manner of glory may be supposed to remain, the mo- 
ment the fact of our loving God is resolved into a 
miracle of Almighty power. 2nd, But not only is this 
history of our being reconciled to God what is full of 

CAMPB. 22 



338 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

glory to God. If we consider well we must see that 
our being reconciled to God must have this histoiy. 
We have seen that the words " Lo, I come to do thy 
will, O God," indicate the difference between that blood 
of Christ which cleanseth from all sin, and the blood of 
bulls, and of goats, which could not take away sin. 
And so the Apostle, when illustrating this, goes on to 
say, ^* By the which will we are sanctified through the 
offering of the body of Jesus Christ once." Our sancti- 
fication therefore is accomplished by the w^U of God as 
acting on our vnU by the moral and spiritual power of 
what that divine will is in itself. For the will of God, 
in order to be welcomed with that welcome which is 
holiness, i. e. the free consecration of our willy must be 
welcomed just because of what it is. 

This is a point which it is most important that we 
should see clearly. Nothing extraneous to the nature of 
the divine will itself to which we are to he reconciled^ can 
have a part in recmiciling us to that will. Fear of pun- 
ishment, hope of reward, have here no place. How- 
ever they may have been included in the history of 
our awakening to the importance of the relation in 
which our will stands to the divine will, they must 
go for nothing — they have ever been found to go for 
nothing — when the soul is alone with God, feeling it- 
self under His searching eye, all its self- consciousness 
quickened by the realisation of the divine knowledge of 
its thoughts ^^when yet afar off." Simple earnestness, 
intense desire to be safe and assured of happiness, is 
then valued only at its true value; neither is it self- 
deceivingly supposed to generate anything better than 
itself. In the light of God, all that springs from the 
desire of safety and happiness, is seen to continue but 
the desire of safety and happiness still ; and this, though 
not wrong, — nay, though in a lower sense right, as the 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 339 

working of an instinct in our being which God acknow- 
ledges, and which God addresses, — yet assuredly is not 
holiness, nor any approach to a delight in God's holy 
will. Nor, if we should, on any ground, have come to 
conclude that we are assured of the safety and happi- 
ness which we have desired, and, in consequence, should 
feel grateful to God for this great boon, is such grati- 
tude, though a higher feeling than mere fear, or hope, 
to be recognised as holiness, or as what impUes our 
being reconciled to God spiritually and truly. 

At how great a distance from all oneness of will 
with the Holy God a human spirit may still be, even 
when esteeming itself saved, and thanking God for 
salvation, is most instructively illustrated by President 
Edwards, in his analysis of delusive appearances of 
conversion which had come under his own observation, 
occurring under the awakening power of much urging 
of the importance of salvation. But, indeed, clearly 
understood, the statement is felt to be self-evident, 
that the will of God must reconcile us to itself hy the 
power of what it is, or not at all. Therefore that the 
Son reconciles us to the Father by revealing the Father, 
is not only a way of salvation full of glory to God, but 
is, in truth, the only possible way. So that our salva- 
tion would have been impossible had there not been in 
the heart of the Father what, being revealed to us, and 
brought to bear on our spirits, would reconcile us to 
Him, making His condemnation of our sin to become 
our own condemnation of it. His choice for us our own 
free choice for ourselves, His love the light of life to 
us, His fatherliness the quickening of sonship in us. 
There being that in God which was adequate to this 
result, our salvation was not only possible, but the way 
and manner, as well as the nature of our salvation, 
were thereby fixed and determined. 

22—2 



340 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

The Apostle John says, " And we have seen and do 
testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour 
of the world." i John iv. 14. I have had occasion 
above to notice the way in which the Divinity of the 
Saviour has been contemplated in relation to the atone- 
ment in the two forms of Calvinism; in the one as 
implying a capacity of infinite suffering, adequate be- 
cause infinite ; in the other, as giving infinite value to 
any suffering in respect of the dignity of the sufferer; 
instead of recognising the divinity of the sufferer as 
what has determined the nature of His sufferings, and 
has given them their moral and spiritual fitness to ex- 
piate sin and purge it away. There has not been the 
same result of positive error, but there has beyond 
doubt been great loss of light of truth, through an 
unvnse resting of attention on the simple fact of the 
divinity of Christ, which has veiled the teaching of the 
words 'Hhe Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of 
the world," chosen by the Apostle to express that light 
of eternal life in which He consciously was. Labour 
has been bestowed on proving the divinity of the 
persons thus spoken of in connexion with our salva- 
tion, — that the Father is God, that the Son is God — 
and the excellent dignity and importance of salvation 
have doubtless been in this way magnified. But the 
special teaching intended by the Apostle is clearly that 
which is received in contemplating the Father as the 
Father, and the Son as the Son. Thus considered, the 
statement that the Father sent the Son to be the 
Saviour of the world, sheds light on the whole scheme 
of redemption, its origin, its end, and that by which 
that end is accomplished. 

Exclusive occupation with the personal dignity 
claimed for the Saviour by the name "the Son of 
God," has, indeed, had the general result of causing 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 341 

men to lose the teaching contained in that name, so 
that it has suggested the greatness only of the love of 
God to man revealed in Christ, and not its manner and 
nature; and yet neither is its greatness known, while 
its nature is not understood. *' In this was manifested 
the love of God toward us, because that God sent His 
only begotten Son into the worid, that we might live 
through Him:" let the name "Son" here suggest to 
us what it has been intended to suggest, and the nature 
of the life which it has been intended that we should 
"live through Him" will be taught by it. "Herein 
is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, 
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins :" 
let the name "Son" here teach us what it should 
teach, and it will shed light upon that propitiation for 
sin which Christ is, and illustrate to us the relation of 
the life of sonship to the atonement, — ^the relation of 
the revelation of the Father by the Son to our being 
reconciled to God. 

Fatheriiness in God originating our salvation ; the Son 
of God accomplishing that salvation by the revelation 
of the Father; the life of sonship quickened in us, the 
salvation contemplated : these are conceptions continu- 
ally suggested by the language of scripture if we yield 
our minds to its natural force ; and they are conceptions 
which naturally shed light on each other, and which, 
in their combined light, and contemplated together, so 
illustrate the nature of the atonement, as to impart a 
conviction like that produced by the internal light of 
axiomatic truth. Our Lord complains that He had 
come in His Father's name, and they had not received 
Him : yet as coming in the Father s name must He be 
ultimately received ; any other reception is not the 
reception of the Son of God by which we become sons 
of God. "He came unto His own, and His own received 



M* I I ^^W^^W^ 



342 THAT GOD 18 THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

Him not. But as many as received Him, to them 
gave He power to be the sons of God, even to them 
that believe on His name." This those understand 
whose deepest conviction of having found salvation in 
Christ is as the experience of orphans who have found 
their long lost Father. For, corresponding to the yearn- 
ing of the Father's heart over us, while yet in our sins, 
is the working of the misery of our orphan state as the 
ultimate contradiction to the original law of our being ; 
some measure of conscious reahsation of which misery 
is the truest preparation for receiving the gospel, being 
the first yielding to the teaching of the Father drawing 
us to the Son, who alone reveals the Father, — that in- 
articulate groaning of our spirits to which Philip gave 
expression in saying, " Shew us the Father, and it 
suflBceth us." 

It is justly held that the faith that there is a God, 
has a root in us deeper than all inferential argument, 
a root in relation to which all inferential argument is 
but, so to speak, complemental ; owing its authority 
rather to that root than that root at all to it, though 
being what that root demands and prepares us to 
expect. And surely those who deal with men who are 
attempting to be atheists, act most wisely when they 
throw them back on this root of faith in God in their 
own inner being, instead of permitting a course of argu- 
ment which allows their thoughts to run away to find 
without them what unless found within them will never 
be found at all. That this God, in whose existence we 
necessarily beheve, is the Father of our spirits, is to 
be regarded as a further truth, the faith of which has a 
corresponding depth of root in us; and this I understand 
the Apostle to recognise in the use he makes, in 
preaching to the Athenians, of the expression as used 
by one of their own poets, " For we are also His oflF- 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 343 

spring." That one of their own poets had said so would 
have been no reason for assuming that they ought to 
have believed that it was so, and to have det-ermined 
their manner of worshipping God accordingly, unless 
these words of the poet had been the utterance of a 
truth that was deep in all their hearts. In assuming, 
as I have been doing, a relation of men to God as the 
Father of spirits, antecedent to, and to be regarded as 
underlying their relation to Him as their moral gover-^ 
nor, I have, in hke manner, been calculating on a 
response from the depths of humanity. And it is 
in the hope of awakening that response into a dis- 
tinct consciousness that I have proceeded in treating 
our relationship to God as the Fa^iher of our spirits, as 
the ultimate truth, in the light of which we are to 
see the scheme of our redemption, the Father's sending 
the Son to be the Saviour of the world. If we are in 
very truth God's offspring, if it is as the Father of our 
spirits that He regards us while yet in our sins, it 
accords with this that the Father should send the Son 
to save us, that the Son should propose to save us by 
the revelation of the Father, and that our salvation 
shall be participation in the life of sonship. 

There is a corresponding witness of truth in the 
results which the faith of the atonement accomplishes. 
These in being the truth qf sonship towards God and 
the truth of brotherhood toward men, deepen the con- 
viction that it is the very truth of God that our faith is 
receiving. 

I . Sonship quickened in us by the revelation of the 
fatherliness that is in God, is sonship in the true and 
natural sense of the expression. If our redemption has 
its origin in the feelings with which God regards us as 
the Father of our spirits, if the Son of God accom- 
plishes our salvation by revealing the Father to us. 



344 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

then is our salvation necessarily the truth of sonship. 
In living harmony with the light of hfe, drawn by the 
Father to the Son, knowing the Son as He is present 
in our inmost being — our true life, and ever seeking to 
be our actual hfe — yielding our hearts to Him to reign 
in them, '* receiving with meekness the engrafted word, 
which is able to save our souls," we call God *' Father;" 
and the utterance is from us a true and natural 
and simple approach to the Father of our spirits, 
such as He desires, a speaking to Him according to 
the truth of what He is to us, the cherishing of an 
immediate direct confidence in His fatherly heart. 
For indeed our right confidence in the Father is direct, 
and is confidence in^His fatherly heart towards us, as 
also is our confidence in the Son direct, viz. a direct 
confidence in Him as our proper life; which several 
manners of confidence we are to discriminate and to 
reaUse. For in the Son it is, and not apart from the 
Son, that we have the hfe of sonship ; and as to exercise 
confidence in the Father is to confide in Him as our 
Father, so to exercise confidence in the Son is to 
welcome the life of sonship which we have in Him. 
And this is the manner of our being alive to God 
through Jesus Christ, and it is self-evidenced to my 
mind as the truth of sonship, as what and what alone 
we can believe to meet and satisfy that fatherUness in 
God which it presupposes, and by the revelation of 
which to our spirits by the Son it is quickened. 

I cannot recognise this truth of sonship, in what, in 
connexion with the other conception of the atonement, 
is held as "adoption ;" of which I desire to speak plainly, 
yet warily, knowing how much more diflBcult it is 
to do justice in the choice of one's words to the faith of 
others, than to one's own faith ; and having, also, the 
awe on my spirit of the true savour of the life of 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 345 

sonship, which it has been my privilege to meet in 
connexion with the form of thought on this subject 
which yet I feel constrained to reject. 

The adoption of us as sons, as superadded to justifi- 
cation by faith, no element of sonship being present in 
the faith that justifies us, nor exercise of fatherliness 
contemplated as an element in the divine acceptance 
of us, the adoption itself a boon bestowed upon us in 
connexion with the imputation of Christ's merits to us, 
— this is a manner of sonship as to which it is obvious 
that the confidence with which we may so think of 
ourselves as sons of God, and draw near to Him ex- 
pecting to be acknowledged as such, is no direct trust 
in a Father's heart at all, nx> trust in any feeling in God 
of which, we are personally the objects a^ His offspring, 
but is in reality a trust in the judicial grounds on which 
the title and place of sons is granted to us. 

I know that it is held that, when in connexion with 
the faith that justifies, God bestows on us the adoption 
of sons. He gives us also the spirit of sonship, that we 
may have the spiritual reaUty as well as the name and 
standing. But the spirit of sonship is the spirit of 
tru^thy the Son himself is the truth — ^'I am the way, 
the truth, and the life." That the Son should say, " I 
am the way'' — "no man cometh unto the Father but 
by me," teaches us that sonship alone' deals with 
fatherliness 05 fatherliness ; that we must come to God 
as sons, or not come at all. On this co-relativeness 
of sonship and fatherliness, I have dwelt above. So 
also that He should say, "I am the life,'^ fixes our 
faith on Him as our proper life, according to "the 
testimony of God, that God has given to us eternal 
life, and that this life is in His Son," — but that He 
should say, and say in humanity, "I am the truth," 
teaches us, that not only is it the case that to come 



346 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

near to the Father we must come near in the Son, and 
that the life of sonship is the life to which we are 
called, but, besides, that to come to God in the Son, and 
so to come to Him as sons, is, and alone is, in harmony 
loith THE TRUTH of OUT relation to God. 

I have in some measure anticipated this contrast 
between sonship towards God, as quickened in us by 
the revelation to us of the Father by the Son, and 
sonship conceived of as added to our legal standing of 
justified persons, through the imputation to us of Christ's 
merits, when noticing above the practical difficulty of 
harmonising, in conscious experience, two manners of 
confidence, so opposite in their nature, as a legal confi- 
dence, on the ground of the imputation to us of a 
perfect righteousness, and a filial confidence such as the 
faith of a Father's heart is fitted to quicken. In truth, 
the assumed filial confidence, being cherished in this 
dependence on the legal confidence, and the fatherli- 
ness conceived of being, not a desire of the heart of 
God going forth towards us as His offspring, to which 
sonship is the true and right response^ but the divine 
acknowledgment of a standing granted to us according 
to the arrangement assumed, though our conception of 
the mercy and grace of which we assume ourselves to 
be the objects may still be high, the true and simple 
feeling of dealing with a Father's heart is altogether 
precluded. 

But thus to think of the intercourse with God 
which eternal life implies, as resting for its peace and 
security on another ground than its own essential na- 
ture; — to think of sonship as cherished fireely other- 
wise than as the natural response to the Father's 
heart, to think of the Father as rejoicing in this 
sonship as present in us otherwise than as the Father ; 
— ^to feel that the prodigal son feels secure in the 



\ 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 347 

welcome of his forgiving father on any other ground 
than the fatherly forgiveness itself which has embraced 
him, falling on his neck and kissing him ; — to feel that 
the father is justified in his own eyes, or would justify 
himself in the eyes of the rest of his family, in the gra- 
cious welcome which he accords to the returning prodi- 
gal, on any other ground than that which he expresses 
when he says, '^My son was dead, and is alive again;" 
— to suppose that the filial standing must rest on a 
legal standing, and that all this intercourse between the 
Father of spirits and His redeemed offspring must be 
justified by the imputation to them of Christ's right- 
ousness, and that this reality of communion with the 
Father and the Son must be reconciled, in this way 
of at least seeming fiction, with the moral government 
of God, instead of recognising that communion itself 
as what is the highest faljil/ment of moral government, 
and the ultimate and perfect justification of all the 
means which God has employed in bringing it to pass : 
these are thoughts which can have no place in the 
light in which the Apostle says — "It became Him^ 
for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, 
in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain 
of their salvation perfect through sufferings." 

The natural character now claimed for the con- 
sciousness of sonship as belonging to our communion 
with God in Christ, — that is to say, that it shall be 
felt the due response to the Father's heart, and not the 
mere using of a privilege and right graciously conferred 
upon us, corresponds with, or, I should rather say, is 
one with, the self-evidencing character claimed above 
for justifying faith. 

The liberty to call God Father, which we feel in 
the light of the revelation of the Father to us by the 
Son, we in that light cannot but feel : for in that light 



348 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

we not only apprehend the divine fatherliness, through 
the perfect response of sonship yielded to it by the Son 
of God in humanity, and, at the same time, the son- 
ship itself, which is that response, but we have this 
apprehension necessarily with a personal reference to 
ourselves. 

How important this statement is — assuming its 
truth — those will feel who are acquainted with the 
questionings on the subject of adoption by which the 
most earnest and deeply exercised spirits have been 
most tried, while their right to call God Father has 
been conceived of by them as turning upon the pre- 
vious question of their justification through imputation 
of Christ's righteousness, and that again upon the ji 

soundness of the faith from which justification has ^ 

been expected. What is here taught is that to call 
God Father, and draw near to Him in the confidence 
of sonship, is simply to conform to, and walk in, the 
light of life which shines to us in Christ. 

Assuredly that word from heaven — "This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye 
Him" — each man that hears is called to hear as a 
word addressed to himself, — a revelation of a will in 
God in relation to him. This is not to be questioned. 
Why is this divine sonship manifested in humanity? 
Why, brother man, is our attention called to it ? Why 
are we told of the Father's being pleased in the Son, 
and in this connexion bade to "hear the Son?" Surely 
the fatherliness thus presented to our faith is fatherli- 
ness in which we are interested, for surely it is inte- 
rested in us — has desires with reference to us; and 
surely the sonship on which our attention is thus fixed 
concerns us, yea, can be nothing else than the very 
condition of humanity which these desires of the 
Father contemplate and seek for us. Therefore when we 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 349 

are turned to the kingdom of God within us, — when that 
spiritual constitution of things, which the words that 
have raised our eyes to the Father, and our hopes to 
sonship , have pre-supposed, is revealed to our spiritual 
apprehension; — ^when we know "that the Father sent 
the Son to be the Saviour of the world," as these words 
state a condition of things with the advantages of 
which we are encompassed, and the truth and reality 
of which is to be known by us in our own inner being ; 
— when that testimony of the Father to the Son, and 
of the Son to the Father, which pervades the Scrip- 
tures, is known by us as also in ourselves: then what is 
contemplated by the call addressed to us — ^' Hear ye 
Him," is understood by us ; — we understand how, in the 
love of the Father of our spirits, the Son, in whom 
the Father is well pleased, has in Him the life of son- 
ship for us, and how, through Him, and in Him, we also 
may be sons in whom the Father shall be well pleased. 

Thus are the outward preaching of the kingdom of 
God, and the revelation of that kingdom within us, 
known in their unity, in the experience of salvation ; 
and the light shining in the Scriptures and the light 
shining in man are known as one light, — at once 
universal and individual, as is the nature of light. 
When I hear, in the most general reference to men, 
the words "God has given to us eternal life, and 
this life is in His Son," — "This is my beloved Son, 
in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him," — I hear 
what connects me in my own thoughts, as by a revelor 
tion of truth, with the fatherliness that is in God the 
Father, and the sonship that is in the Son of God; 
and so, still, as the light of life dawns on me, and 
brightens, and I become a child of light and of the day, 
when I know, in my own inner being, the Father draw- 
ing me to the Son, and the Son moving and quickening 



350 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

in me the cry, Abba, Father, and have the illustration of 
a personal experience shed upon the words of Christ — 
"No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither 
knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to 
whomsoever the Son will reveal Him ; " still the father- 
liness that is thus caUing me to sonship, the sonship 
that is enabling to respond to that fatherliness, — I know 
as one receiving knowledge of the truth of things ; my 
experience is that of conforming to what is a revelation 
to me at once of God and of man, — that is to say, as 
I am a man, of myself In obeying I am obedient to 
the truth. I do not — I should say, I dare not — doubt 
the voice of that fatherliness by which I am drawn 
to the Son, or doubt that the Son is revealed to me 
by the teaching of the Father for this very end, that 
I may know the desire and choice of the Father of my 
spirit fo7* me. I do not — I dare not — doubt the light 
of that sonship, or that the Son is truly teaching me, 
as well as lovingly teaching me, how it is right for 
me to fed towards the Father of my spirit, — the re- 
sponse to His heart which accords with the truth of 
what that heart is in relation to me, I do not ask, 
^^ Have I exercised a faith in Christ which has justified 
me, and am I certain that that faith is so sound as 
to warrant me to believe that now I am a child of God, 
and entitled to call Him Father?" I am exercising a 
faith to which it is a contradiction to doubt the father- 
Uness of my Father, or the welcome that awaits me in 
coming to Him as a child. I am exercising a faith in 
which it is impossible for me to be disobedient to the 
Son, quickening the cry, Abba, Father, in my spirit. 

I have been at pains, in relation to justification by 
faith, to shew how faith excludes boasting ; not by any 
artificial arrangement, nor at all by denying to the faith 
itself the attribute of righteousness, but, on the con- 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 351 

trary, because it is itself the true righteousness, and 
that boasting is impossible in that light of the truth 
into which faith introduces ; for in faith we are behold- 
ing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and 
no flesh shall glory in His sight. I would add here, 
that the life of sonship, as now represented as quick- 
ened in us, excludes boasting. 

That faith is trust in God, as He is revealed in 
Christ, excludes, as we have seen, boasting, and makes 
the righteousness of faith to be the opposite of self-right- 
eousness; — that this faith apprehends the fatherliness 
of God, and that its responsive trust is sonship, this 
yet more and more excludes boasting. The trust of 
a child in a Father s heart is just the perfect opposite 
of a self-righteous trust ; for it is a going hack to the 
fountain of our heing^ — a dealing with that interest in 
us which was before we did good or evil; and, as 
cherished by us sinners towards God, against whom 
we have sinned, such trust deals with fatherliness as 
what has survived our sins; so that our trust, so far 
from being self-righteous, implies, commences with the 
confession of sin. Doubtless this trust is in itself holy 
— the mind of the Son ; but it is not on that account 
less lowly, — less remote from boasting. Are we not, in 
cherishing it, *^ learning of Him who is meek and lowly 
in heart"? 

There is, indeed, a further exchision of boasting, in 
the consciousness that it is in the Son that we are 
approaching the Father,— that He, who made atone- 
ment for our sins, and brought into humanity the 
everlasting righteousness of sonship, is not the mere 
pattern of our life, but is Himself that life in us in 
which we are able to confess our sins, and to call God 
Father ; — ^that He is the vine, that we are the branches. 
But I feel it important that we should realise that in 



352 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

its own nature, and apart from its derived character 
as existing in us, the confidence of sonship is essentially 
and necessarily the opposite of self-righteousness. • 

I the more insist upon this, while also desirous to 
fix attention on that deepest sense of dependence on 
Christ, which, in knowing Him as our life, our spirits 
prove, because I believe, that the whole attraction to 
conscience which has been found in the conception of 
an imputation of Christ's merits to us, has been its 
seeming fitness to secure the result of a peace with God 
free from self-righteousness, and which shall be really a 
tmst in God and not in ourselves; the doing away with 
what Luther calls, "The monstrous idea of human 
merit, which must by all means be beat down ;" and in 
reference to which he values the law as '^a hammer 
with which to break it in pieces." This right result, 
essential to the glory of God in us, and to our being in 
harmony with the truth of things in the attitude of 
our spirits towards God, the truth of the life of sonship 
in us secures, and alone can secure. 

Nay more, the life of sonship is not only the purest 
and simplest trust in the heart of the Father, but its 
nature is, because of the experience which it implies, 
to be a continually growing trust in God. I must see a 
Father's heart in God towards me before I can call 
Him Father ; but, in calUng Him Father, the conscious- 
ness which comes with so doing, is itself a fresh proof 
to me that He is my Father, and that in so believing I 
am not welcoming a cunningly devised fable ; and thus 
progress in the life of sonship is not the coming to have 
a new ground of confidence towards God, but an expe- 
rience which enables us to " hold fast the beginning of 
our confidence" more and more firmly. Experience, 
in calling God Father in spirit and in truth, becomes 
a source of increased freedom in doing so ; not because 




AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 353 

it has created any further or fresh title to do so, for it 
has not, but because the rightness that is in this miud 
towards God, its harmony with the truth of our re- 
lation to Him, and the glory which it gives to Him, 
become clearer to us in that -increased light as to what 
it is to follow God as dear children, which is implied in 
the experience of doing so. 

And, as this holds true as to our trust in the- 
Father, so also, as to our trust in Christ as our life, all 
experience of life in abiding in Him as a branch in the 
vine, only developes into deeper consciousness the sense 
of dependence upon Him, shutting us up to so abiding 
for all expectation of well being; for the more I know 
what it is to be able to say, ''I live, yet not I, but 
Christ in me," the more simple, and absolute, and 
continuous will be my living by Him. The mystery 
of God, both of the Father and of Christ, being thus 
experimentally known as our fellowship with the Father 
and with His Son Jesus Christ, abounds, the fulfilment 
of God's purpose in us enlightens us more and more in. 
that purpose, and thereby deepens our faith in it as 
His purpose. 

I do not feel that the ground for faith, which is 
thus found in the experience of faith, has been suffi- 
ciently valued, especially when the object has been to 
save us fironi looking for a ground of peace in our- 
selves* We cannot be too jealous of looking to self, 
if we rightly discriminate. But beyond all question, 
eternal life experienced must have its own proper 
consciousness; and the apprehension of it as given in 
Christ, and the consciousness of receiving it, and being 
alive in it as a conscious life, must be trusted to tp 
exclude self-righteousness, as light excludes darkness, 
and not otherwise. 

It seems to me that Luther, notwithstanding his 

CAMFB. 23 



364 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

high estimate of the righteousness that is in faith, and 
notwithstanding the power to prevail with God which 
he recognises as heing in the feeblest utterance of 
the cry " Father/' has not given its true place to the 
subjective experience of the life of sonship. I have felt 
justified in saying above, that the great Reformer was 
the preacher of justification by faith, according to a 
truer and stricter meaning of the expression than it 
has had, or could have had, in the teaching of those 
who have not understood as he did, either that con- 
dition of things which the gospel reveals to our faith, 
and which by its very nature excludes boasting, or 
that excellent glory which God has in the faith which 
apprehends and trusts God, according to the revelation 
of Himself which He has granted to us in Christ, and 
in the exercise of which our souls " make their boast 
in God." The difference is indeed broad and unmistake- 
able between the faith that would correspond with the 
revelation of a work of Christ performed on behalf of 
an elected number, by which he purchased and secured 
for them certain benefits to be in due time imparted to 
them, — according to the teaching of Dr Owen and 
President Edwards; or the faith that would correspond 
with the modified Calvinism, which preaches a work of 
Christ for aU men, by which a foundation has been laid 
on which God may righteously proceed in dispensing 
benefits to those who will receive them on that footing; 
and that faith to which Luther called men, when he 
proclaimed a work of Christ by which He had redeemed 
us, even all men, ^'from the law and death and all 
evils," and procured for us the adoption of sons, so that 
we are not under the law, but under grace, and are 
called to believe, directly and personally, and with 
appropriation to^ ourselves, because it is so in truth, 
that Christ is the Father's gift to us, that He is made 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 356 

of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sancti- 
fication, and redemption. For, however far Luther is 
from shedding light on the nature of the atonement, 
however Uttle of the spiritual Ught which he had himself, 
he has imparted to us in an intellectual form which we 
can understand, and however startling, and incapable of 
acceptance according to their sound, are the expressions 
of which he makes choice in speaking of the relation to 
oijr sin, into which Christ came in working out our re- 
demption ; these things in him are very clear, viz. that 
he saw the Father in the Son, and therefore had con- 
fidence towards God, because of what he thus saw God 
to be; and that he saw Christ, and in Him all things 
pertaining to life and to godliness, as the gift of God 
to men, to all men, to every man : — so that he neither 
spoke of God as having come under an obligation to 
do certain things for an unknown some; nor as having 
put it in His own power righteously to extend mercy 
to all who would receive it on the ground on which 
it was offered ; but as having already done the greatest 
thing for all men, and as calling upon all men to 
believe and enter upon the enjoyment of what He had 
done. 

Yet while Luther's teaching has all the superiority 
which is implied in a truer conception of what is pre- 
sented to our faith, as well as the advantage of a juster 
appreciation of the excellent nature of faith viewed in 
itself, it seems to me, as compared with the teaching of 
the Apostles, wanting in its setting forth of that to 
which the gospel calls man; a defect which, in refer- 
ence to the twofold revelation in Christ, the revelation 
of fatherliness, and of sonship, may be expressed by 
saying, that his preaching is more a setting forth of the 
fatherliness in which we are to trust, than of the sonship 
to which we are called. Luther keeps before the mind 

23—2 



356 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

God as He is revealed to be trusted in, — ^trusted in at 
this moment, by those who have never trusted in Him 
before ; rather than the contemplated life of Christ in 
us, in the conscious experience of which we are to 
grow day by day in the assurance of faith and free 
life of sonship. I do not at all mean that Luther 
would deny the soundness of all such increase of 
freedom, assuming it to be indeed that which has now 
been spoken of, viz. increased trust in God, and in His 
Christ, through the experience of trusting; but that 
this he does not set forth or dwell on. Therefore, while 
the history of his own first peace in God is, most 
profitably for us, present in all his commending of the 
gospel and putting away of the law, there is still in his 
renewed urging of the difficulty of trusting in Christ in 
seasons of deep realisation of our sins, a contrast, and, 
to my mind, an instructive contrast, to the calm con- 
sciousness of being living the new eternal life which 
breathes in such words as these, '*We know that the 
Son of God is come, and hath given us an understand- 
ing, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in 
Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This 
is the true God, and eternal hfe." 

There is a state of mind in relation to the view now 
taken of the sonship quickened in us in faith, which it 
is right here to notice. The character of salvation as 
now represented, as what is accomplished in us by our 
being "brought out of darkness into God's marvellous 
light,'' it is felt difficult to harmonise with the greatness 
of the change which has come to pass in those who 
are saved, both as respects the condition of their own 
being, and their relation to God. It is asked, " If God 
is the Father of our spirits antecedent to our faith 
in Christ, and that the gospel reveals Him as our 
Father, how does the Apostle say — 'In this are the 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOIL OUR FAITH. 357 

children of God manifest, and the children of the devil'? 
And how, when the Jews said, ^ God is our Father,' 
did the Lord seem to deny that it was so ? — ^ If God 
were your Father ye would love me . . - , ye are of 
your father the devil.' " The harmony between the 
abiding truth of our relation to God as we are all His 
offspring, and the oppositeness of the conditions of our 
being, which are by choice of our own will, according 
as we receive the light of Christ or believe the devil's 
lie, not being understood, it is felt that the expressions 
used in relation to those who are alive to God through 
faith in Christ, cannot have their truth simply in the 
spiritual conformity of these individual men, with a 
relation of all men to God, and a constitution of things 
in Christ which embraces all men-; and therefore the 
gospel is received only as a revelation of a willingness 
in God to become our Father, and so a manifestation 
of the highest benevolence, but not the revelation of 
the interest of the Father of our spirits in us as His off^ 
spring. 

In consistency with this conception of the gospel, 
it is held that in such discourses of our Lord as that 
recorded in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of the Gospel 
of Matthew, the use of the name " Father," on which 
I have dwelt above as a part of our Lord's coming to 
men in His Father's name, is not to be understood as 
a claim made for God, and the setting forth of the 
conception of God with which men ought to approach 
Him, but as assuming faith and justification and adop- 
tion ; so that to say, " When ye pray, say. Our Father," 
was not to teach men what they were to believe God 
already to be, but what He would become if they 
beUeved : so also that to say, " If ye then, being evil, 
know how to give good gifts unto your children, how 
much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy 



358 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

Spirit to them that ask Him?" was not intended by 
our Lord to be understood as the proclaiming of a will 
in God to impart His Spirit to all, because He was the 
Father of the spirits of all flesh, but only of such a 
will as to those who had become His children by faith. 

If it were only meant that our acting on such teach- 
ing implies faith, and that we only truly pray the Lord's 
prayer in the measure in which we receive the Son to 
reign in our hearts, there would be in this no more than 
a most needed warning, — ^seeing the great self-deception 
connected with the use of that prayer in a way of mere 
fleshly repetition of it, void of all life of sonship. But 
this is not what is meant ; and so the parable of the 
prodigal son, on which so much weight has now been 
laid, is denied to be a preaching of the gospel, or a 
revelation of the interest with which God regards men 
— aU men — while yet in their sins ; its comfort being 
reduced to what, in consistency, can only be offered 
to men on the assumption that they have been adopted 
through faith, and are such as only need to be en- 
couraged to return to their first love. 

But while I notice this state of mind, and do so 
in much sympathy with the deep sense which it impUes 
of the great issues involved in passing from death to 
life, I do not do so with the purpose of attempting to 
offer any help in relation to it, that has not been pre- 
sented already in these pages. To my mind the ex- 
pression of which I have made so much use — " My son 
was dead, and is alive again,^' both accords with the 
great change that faith implies, vindicating the strong- 
est language in which its important results are ever 
expressed, and also fully recognises our original and 
abiding relation to God as the Father of our spirits. 

But while some feel as if it were taking from the 
sense of salvation with which they themselves call God 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH, 359 

Father as believing in Christ, thus to regard Him as 
the Father of the spirits of all flesh, others can testify, 
that the perfect freedom of sonship has only been 
attained by them in seeing the heart of the heavenly 
Father towards all men, to be revealed in Christ, and 
the life of sonship manifested in Christ to be the fulfil- 
ment of the divine purpose in themselves, because it is 
the fulfilment of the divine purpose in man. 

I have just noticed the increased freedom in Hving 
the life of sonship, and increased assurance of being in 
the light of God, which comes through the actual ex- 
perience of a true and living Christianity. Now, while 
this is, in one view, personal^ it is in another view only 
a deeper certainty of knowledge as to the will of God 
in relation to all men, and the "common salvation." It 
is the record that God has given to us, that is, to men, 
eternal life, and that this life is in His Son, which he 
that believeth hath in himself. Therefore is the Chris- 
tian a living Upistle of the grace of God. 

The progress of mind often experienced in relation 
to the gospel is very instructive. Some who have at 
one time contemplated the atonement as having re- 
ference to an elected number, and have then felt that 
their own personal hold of salvation would be weakened 
if Christ had died for all men, have afterwards come 
to see, that they could never have felt intelligently cer- 
tain that Christ had died for them, excepting as that 
fact was included in the fact that He had died for all 
men ; and the unsatisfactory shifts had recourse to, in the 
attempt to combine a free preaching of Christ with a 
limited atonement, have become very palpable to them, 
and they have wondered how, saying, that, "though 
Christ had died only for some, He was freely offered 
to aU," could ever have been received by them as an 
adequate foundation for an appropriating and personal 



360 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

fisiith. And so, as to the results of the work of redemp- 
tion, — what we are called to apprehend as true ante- 
cedent to our faith, — what the statement "that God 
has given to us eternal life, and that this life is in His 
Son " amounts to, — many are for a time satisfied with 
the apprehension of a mercy in God embracing them, 
such as Christ's death for their sins impUes, — a will in 
God to bestow benefits on them through Christ, who 
afterwards come to see, that a relation to them more 
internal to their own being, is alike implied in the 
language of Scripture, and required by their need, — 
if indeed they are to be alive to God through faith 
in Jesus Christ. They, therefore, welcome that ftdler 
light of truth which at once reveals to them a gulf as 
left between them and Christ by the simple fact of an 
atonement external to their own being, and that gulf 
as done away with in the actual nearness of Christ to 
their spirits, — His presence in them as their true life. 
For they now understand the teaching of the Father, 
and His drawing of us to the Son, as what is in the 
Spirit, and not in the Scriptures only, and as what 
directs us to Christ, as He is present in our inner being, 
there where the sap of the vine passes into the branch 
— a present life to be welcomed or rejected — ^the in- 
grafted, in-breathed word, which is able to save our 
souls. To this presence of Christ in us is the testimony 
of God, " that He has given to us eternal life, and that 
this life is in His Son," now known to refer. And as now 
the literal spiritual truth of the testimony that God has 
given this gift, and brought it into the needed nearness — 
and if He had not, how should we? — is apprehended, 
so now also the manner of the teaching of the Son, the 
manner of His shewing us the Father, is understood. 
For it is found that, according as we receive the testi- 
mony of the Father to the Son, and, in obedience of 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 361 

faith, receive the Son as our true life, and in Him call 
God Father, the divine fatherliness becomes known 
by us as it can be known to sonship alone. For as, 
in respect of the natural relation which typifies the 
spiritual, where a father and his children are present 
together, with others also not his offspring, the children 
alone — ^yea, the children who know that they look upon 
their father, see — with the eyes of the heart — see a 
father; so also in the higher region in which we now 
are, the Son enables us, God's offspring, to see our 
heavenly Father, when, receiving Christ as our life, 
we in Him raise to the Father the eyes and the heart 
of true sonship. 

In thus receiving and obeying the testimony of the 
Father to the Son, and, in consequence, knowing the 
Father as the Son knows Him, and gives us to know 
Him, is the deepest manner of experience of that word 
— " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, 
and He will shew them His covenant." 

But let us be clear as to the elements of our con- 
sciousness when this is our conscious history. We have 
not, by any movement of our own being, caused this 
drawing of the Father; we have only yielded to it; — 
neither have we by any movement of our being brought 
the Son thus near to us. He was thus near to us even 
when we knew it not. Only under the teaching of God 
we have Christ revealed in us the hope of glory. The 
mystery hid from ages and generations is made known 
to us. Therefore, understanding the nature of the 
grace of which we find ourselves the objects, we recog- 
nise it as that gracious kingdom of God within us 
which the gospel proclaims. We find our feet in a 
large place,T-we are consciously in circumstances to 
receive and obey the word of Christ, " Abide in me ;" 
the personality of these circumstances in relation to us. 



362 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

not being less, nor the importance of the issues that 
depend on the faith of them less either, because the 
grace in which we stand is the "common salvation." 
And, like the man, who at one time felt that to believe 
that Christ had died for all would weaken His own 
conscious hold of salvation, but who has subsequently 
understood that imless Christ died for all there was no 
certainty that He had died for him ; so, if we ever felt 
a distinctive and elective character in the divine draw- 
ing which draws to Christ, and a distinctive and elective 
character in Christ teaching us to call God Father, an 
element in our religious peace, we now find the stabihty 
and depth of that peace to consist in the unindividual, 
the universal character of that testimony of the Father 
to the Son, and of that testimony of the Son to the 
Father, in which we are rejoicing with an individual 
and personal hearing and obedience of faith. Surely 
that others refuse God's teaching no more affects my 
certainty that I am receiving the light of truth in 
welcoming that teaching, than that others are refusing 
Christ, for whom He died as truly as for me, affects 
my peace in trusting in His death for me. Nay, that 
the voice of the Eternal Wisdom to which I listen, is 
"unto the sons of men," and to me individually, just 
as I am one of the sons of men, is one element in my 
certainty that it is the voice of God. 

It is a remarkable and instructive fact, that the 
experience that the faith of a work of Christ without 
us, which left us without the knowledge of a presence 
and power of Christ within us, was inadequate to 
sustain the intelligent purpose of living the life of 
sonship, — and that the recognition of a nearer relation 
to Christ was needed, — has been to some the attraction 
of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration ; the spiritual 
change in our inner being, so conceived of, seeming to 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 363 

supply that living link with Christ which has been felt 
to be necessary to our living by Him, and which the 
fact of the relation of Christ's work to all men did not 
provide. Yet the difference between a spiritual relation 
to Christ as our life, revealed in the preached gospel, 
and made known to us as a spiritual reality in our own 
inner being by the divine teaching, (the drawing of us 
to the Son T3y the Father,) and such a relation as com- 
ing into existence in connexion with the ordinance of 
baptism, and subsequently assumed in a way of faith in 
that ordinance, is one of the greatest possible amount 
and greatest possible importance. 

Christian baptism is into "the name of God, the 
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." It relates 
to a gospel proclaiming that name. It is administered 
to those capable of inteUigent apprehension of the 
gospel, as believing in that name as the true name of 
God, and that in the light of which they see their 
relations to Him. Its administration to infants is only 
understandable on the assumption that they are already 
interested in that name of God, and that parents and 
ministers of Christ know them to be so, and are justi- 
fied in bringing them up in the faith of that name as 
the true name of God. But that we should find in our 
baptism more than is in the name into which we have 
been baptised, and that " more," that spiritual relation 
to Christ in the light of which we can alone hear and 
respond to the call to follow God as dear children ; this 
is, in effect, to believe about baptism that which would 
make it a contradiction of that name of God into which 
we are baptised. For to say that baptism brings us 
into the needed spiritual relation to Christ as our life, 
is to say, that we were not in it antecedently to 
baptism, that the grace which the gospel reveals to our 
faith has not amounted to this ; that is to say, that we 



364 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF 0€R SPIRITS, 

might know the name of God the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Spirit, and yet not feel in possession of the 
light of life. 

I would not have risked any distraction of thought 
by the notice of this subject here, were it not for the 
preciousness in my apprehension of that sense of the 
need of a personal relation to Christ, with which to 
begin to live to God, which the doctrine of baptismal 
regeneration at once recognises and misdirects. As to 
the more usual objection to the doctrine of baptismal 
regeneration, viz. that it hinders the sense of the 
necessity of being personally alive to God as alone a 
condition of justifiable peace; I do not see how it is 
possible for any thoughtful mind to feel at rest in the 
contemplation of a fact of this kind, whatever it may be 
behoved to have implied, while that fact has been cotti^ 
mon to the history of all the baptised, and has not hindered 
any subsequent manner or measure of evil. No man 
can beUeve that baptism has secured his salvation : at 
the utmost it can only be conceived of as placing the 
human spirit in a higher spiritual condition ; which, if it 
implies the capacity of higher good, implies also that of 
greater evil — a deeper fall. And so all who believe in 
baptismal regeneration, whether Romanists or Protest- 
ants, would speak of it. 

2. "What affects the conception we form of the 
sonship towards God to which the gospel calls us, must 
in a corresponding way affect our conception of that 
consciousness of brotherhood with man to which we 
are also called. The light of truth in which I see God 
as my Father, is the light in which I see men as my 
brethren. If, on the other hand, the gospel does not 
reveal God to me as my Father, neither does it reveal 
men to me as my brethren. 

I have considered above that fulfilment of the 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 366 

righteousness of the law, whicli takes place in us when 
we walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, and 
which the Apostle represents as the result which God 
contemplated when He sent His Son in the likeness of 
sinful flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, and so condemned 
sin in the flesh; and I then illustrated its relation to 
sonship as the law of the spirit of the life that was in 
Christ, in which the power was found to make free 
from the law of sin and death. The righteousness of 
the law is to love men as well as to love God ; and its 
fulfilment therefore implies love to men as well as love 
to God. But the life of love which we have in Christ, 
which is sonship towards God, is, in being so, brother- 
hood towards men ; and as it is in being sonship that it 
fulfils the first commandment, so it is in being brother- 
hood that it fulfils the second commandment. There- 
fore, as it is true that until we know God as our 
Father, we cannot love Him with all our heart, and 
mind, and soul, and strength; so is it also true that 
until we know men as our brethren, we cannot love our 
neighbours as ourselves. 

We know when the question was put to our Lord, 
by one willing to justify himself by the law, "who is 
my neighbour?" how our Lord answered. Let us not 
under the gospel be found asking, "who is my brother?" 
or coming to conclusions as to the answer of that 
question which will leave us in the position of finding, 
that some are our neighbours who are not our brethren : 
for to find a neighbour who is not a brother, is to find 
a neighbour whom I cannot love as I love myself; for 
unless I can feel towards him as towards a brother, 
unless in the life of brotherhood given to me in Christ, 
I can see him with the eyes of a brother, and love him 
with the heart of a brother, I cannot love him in spirit 
and in truth as I love myself 



366 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

It thud more and more appears that the question as 
to the nature of the atonement is in truth nothing else 
than the question, * what is Christianity?' It is so, as we 
have seen, as to the God-ward aspect of the eternal life 
given to us in Christ. It is so, we now see, as to the 
man-ward aspect of that life also. In contemplating the 
eternal life in Christ as taking the form of the atone- 
ment, the outcoming of love has been seen to be one 
and the same thing as sonship towards God and 
brotherhood towards man ; and all that has been pre- 
sented to our faith as entering into the work of Christ, 
has appeared to have been equally called for by love to 
God and by love to man, — a sdf-sacrifice which was at 
once devotedness to God and devotedness to man. The 
eternal life being unchanging in its nature, it follows, as 
urged above, that what it was in Christ as an atone- 
ment, it will be in us as salvation. Therefore Christ, 
as the Lord of our spirits, and our life, devotes us to 
God and devotes us to men in the feUowshtp of His 
self-sdcri/ice. 

This He does in giving us to know God as our 
Father and men as our brethren. Seen in the light of 
God, our state of sin, and life of self, is solitary in all 
aspects of it. In it we are ''orphans of the heart," 
brotherless as well as fatherless: for in it the life of 
true brotherhood is as unknown in relation to man as 
that of true sonship is in relation to God. ''God 
setteth the solitary in families." This is accomplished 
for us spiritually in our passing from death unto life, 
" for by this we know that we have passed from death 
unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth 
not his brother abideth in death." Christ gives us to 
possess, not God only, but men also as our riches, the 
unsearchable riches which we have in Him. But, I 
say, in doing so He is, at the same time, devoting us to 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 367 

God and to men, in the fellowship of His self-sacrifice. 
He thus calls us to poverty, in calling us to the true 
riches ; calls us to have nothing, in calling us to possess 
all things ; and thus the peari of great price, which is 
given us without money and without price, while it is 
above all price, is yet that of which it is said, that a 
man must sell all that he has, that he may buy that 
pearl. If I am to be rich in the consciousness of 
having God as my Father, this must be in that entire 
devotion of my being to Him which is in loving the 
Lord my God, with all my heart, and mind, and soul, 
and strength. If I am to be rich in the consciousness 
of having men as my brethren, it must be in loving my 
neighbour as myself. 

Here it may occur, that though to say, that Christ 
gives me God as my Father, has indeed a gospel sound, 
this is not felt equally as to the statement that He gives 
men as my brethren. Yet are the gifts related, insepa- 
rably connected ; their bond being the relation of the 
second commandment to the first. No doubt the dif- 
ference, and more especially the immediate diflference, 
between these gifts is very great in all views, but espe- 
cially in this, that, by the latter, Christ lays a weight 
upon me, the burden of others ; while, by the former. 
He lays my burden on God, enabling me to cast all my 
cares upon Him, knowing that He careth for me. Yet 
it is an obvious comfort here that the burden of others, 
which He lays upon me, being truly borne by me, 
becomes a part of that burden which He enables me to 
cast upon God. 

But that we may see the whole transaction in both 
its parts, that which refers to our relation to men, as 
well as that which refers to our relation to God — as one 
grace, we must see it in the light of that word, " He that 
loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he 



368 THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS, 

love God whom he hath not seen." In the life of love 
which we have in Christ, not only will God have His 
proper preciousness to us, but men also will have theirs 
— as was Christ's own case. Love will go out to men 
as well as to God, though its goings out may be, in the 
one case, with sorrow and anguish of spirit, while in 
the other, it is with peace and joy. Neither can we 
know the fellowship of our Lord's peace and joy, as 
what belong to the life which we have in Him in the 
one aspect of it, while we refiise to share with Him the 
sorrow and anguish which pertain to His life in the 
other aspect of it. If we refuse to he in Christ the 
brothers of men, we cannot he in Christ the sons of God. 
This is in another form of words our Lord's teaching, 
when He says, " If ye forgive not men their trespasses, 
neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses." 
We must die to self in the fellowship of the death of 
Christ, if we would live to God ; and, so dying as to 
live to God, we shall live to each other also^ 

Self is essential and necessary solitude, with what- 
ever society and shew of social life it may encompass 
itself. In the inmost circle of our being we abide 
alone, until, in the death of self, the life of God is 
quickened. Then God becomes the centre which self 
was while yet we were as gods to ourselves, and then 
the harmony of the first and second commandment is 
known by us. We find that Christ, in reconciling us to 
God, has reconciled us to men ; and though comfort, 
and peace, and joy alone come out of the former of 
these results of His love, and sorrow, and vexation of 
spirit, yea, fellowship in Christ's own sorrow, may come 
abundantly out of its latter result, yet, even as to this 
latter, the sorrow is not unmixed. If the afflictions of 
Christ abound in us, our consolation, even as respects 
men, shall also abound through Christ ; and if men are 



AN ULTIMATE TRUTH FOR OUR FAITH. 869 

a weight upon our spirits, and a deep and constant 
sorrow as they never were before, yet shall we know 
now, as we could not before, the fellowship of the joy 
that is in heaven over sinners that repent ; and, in the 
communion of saints, shall know what man can be to 
man when met together in the pure light and life of 
the divine love. While as to the hope set before us 
we know, that united to men by the bond of that love 
in which Christ died for them, our fellowship in His 
death will prove the seed and earnest of fellowship in 
His joy in that ultimate result in which He shall see of 
the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. 

Self is most unwilUng to die, and can gather around 
it so many sweetenings of life in the form of social 
relations, which give a certain superficial sense of com- 
munion of heart and mind without touching its (self s) 
life at the core, that we need not marvel that the call 
to deny self, and take up the cross of Christ, is resisted 
so long as only the sacrifice required is realised, and 
not also the exceeding gain that is to come through 
that sacrifice ; and of this gain nothing is, I think, less 
anticipated than what is found in the new aspect which 
our brother men will present to us, and the sense of 
eternal life that accompanies that new interest of love 
which they will have to us in the fellowship of Christ's 
love to them, and which will take the place of that self- 
reference with which they were formerly regarded ; — 
though broken, it might be, by occasional outbursts of 
kindly and generous feeling — ^grapes, as it were, from 
the land of promise tasted in the wilderness, but yet 
their promise not believed. Would that these out- 
comings of a better nature were traced up to their 
ultimate source in the depths of our being, and, instead 
of the passing comfort and satisfaction which in their 
present form is all they usually yield, were employed as 

CAMPB. 24 



370 GOD THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS. 

threads to lead us back, through the labyrinth of our 
outward life, to meet and know Him within us — the 
Lord of our spirits— who came not to be ministered 
unto, but to minister, and give His life a ransom for 
many, and who would teach us the life of self-sacrifice, 
with all its peculiar and proper sorrows, doubtless, but 
also with all its peculiar and proper joys. Nay, ha.ve 
not the bitterest sorrows proper to that life a root of 
sweetness in them which renders them better, more to 
be chosen than other joys ? 



CHAPTER XVI. 



CONCLUSION. 



HAVING, in this attempt to illustrate the nature of 
the atonement, insisted so much on the application 
of the words, '^ In Him was life, and the life was the 
light of men," to the whole work of Christ in making 
His soul an offering for sin, I am anxious not to be mis- 
understood as to the aspect of the subject of the atone- 
ment, in which it has appeared to me reasonable to 
expect it to be light to us, and not darkness ; and that, 
in closing this volume, the reader should carry away 
with him a distinct conception of the limits, which, in 
writing, I have realised, and kept in view. 

I have not attempted to divest the subject of the 
atonement of all mystery. I have not cherished the 
hope, or, in truth, the desire, of doing so. The self- 
righteousness that takes the form of a submission of 
faith to mysteries, I, indeed, feel to be altogether a 
delusion. The assumed merit of a blind faith, in addi- 
tion to the error implied in all conception of merit on 
our part in relation to God, involves the absurdity of 
expecting to please God by exalting one of His good 
gifts, to the depreciation of another gift, equally to be 
traced up to the grace of the Father of lights. Any 
manner of subordinating of reason to revelation must 
be wrong, in which it is forgotten that we honour God 
in assigning to reason its due place, as truly as we do 
in assigning to revelation its due place ; for to be jealous 
for reason is to be jealous for God, as truly as to be 
jealous for revelation is to be jealous for God. If self 

24—2 



372 CONCLUSION. 

comes in, and forgets that reason is a gift, as well as 
revelation, and, claiming reason as its own, is puffed up 
on behalf of that which we have thus identified with 
ourselves, the temptation that thus arises to exalt 
reason and depreciate revelation is obvious, and the 
evil consequences to be anticipated great. But the 
remedy, the true and the only remedy, is, that we 
should hear the voice of God in reason as well as in 
revelation — ^that God in whose presence no flesh shall 
glory. 

But as to mysteries, reason has its mysteries as 
well as revelation; and to shrink from mysteries, is to 
shrink fit>m all deep thinking on any of the high 
problems of our existence. The practical question 
for us, as God's thinking, inteUigent offspring, always 
is as to the limit of light and darkness ; which prac- 
tical question we are to entertain under the sense 
of this twofold responsibility; that, as it would be 
wrong to attempt to push beyond that limit, or 
to be impatient of its existence, so would it be also 
wrong to fix it more near to us than it is in the 
truth of things, or at least in relation to the dispen- 
sations of light vouchsafed to us by God. For would 
not this be to refuse to use some portion of the grace 
of God to us, and be one form of folding in a napkin 
and hiding in the earth a talent of which an account 
must be rendered ? 

Therefore, under the sense of a responsibiUty of 
which the twofold aspect has appeared to me thus 
unquestionable, I have now considered the elements 
of the work of Christ as what His participation in 
humanity, and our participation in the divine nature 
through Him, seemed to place within the limit of 
the light of Ufe that shines for us in Him; while I 
have simply recognised, abstaining fix)m all attempt at 



CONCLUSION. 373 

explanation, or elucidation, the underlying and deeper 
facts of the relation of man to God the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit, implied in the relation of the 
work of Christ to all men, and in the spiritual reality of 
that which is stated when it is said, that " this is the 
testimony of God, that God has given to us eternal life, 
and that this Hfe is in His Son." As to these deepest 
facts of our being and of our relation to God, I have 
not even attempted to determine the line that separates 
the darkness and the light now; or at all to say what 
its eternal and necessary place is; while neither am I to 
be understood as passing any judgment on attempts to 
do so, or on the going of others nearer to that awful 
line than I have done. But I am anxious that the 
reader should realise how much on the Hght side of 
that line I have kept, having determined to approach 
it no more nearly than an attempt to illustrate the 
nature of the atonement required me to do. 

Keason has its mysteries as well as revelation, the 
mysteries of deepest interest to us being, indeed, com- 
mon to them both; though, inasmuch as revelation 
carries us further into the region to which mystery 
pertains, the sense of mystery in occupation of mind 
with the discoveries of revelation is greater. But the 
aspect in which the atonement has now been contem- 
plated does not belong to the proper region of mystery 
at all. That region, whether as respects reason or 
revelation, is the divine and the infinite ; and the atone- 
ment has now been considered simply as a transaction 
in humanity, contemplating results in man, to be ac- 
complished by the revelation of the elements of that 
transaction to the spirit of man, and in a way of par- 
ticipation in these elements on the part of man. It is 
not in this transaction, viewed in itself, that mystery 
was to be expected, or could exist, but in that relation 



374 CONCLUSION. 

of the Son of God to man which this transaction pre- 
supposes. This relation, whether we contemplate it as 
participation in our flesh, or as that relation to us in 
the spirit in respect of which Christ is our life, having 
power over all flesh to this end, is indeed a mystery as 
to its nature and manner^ and to be known by us only 
in its results. 

And this is true, whether we contemplate the per- 
sonal work of Christ in making His soul an offering for 
sin, or His work in us in respect of which it is true, 
that when we live to God we must say, "Yet not we, 
but Christ Uveth in us." The divine perfection of 
sonship in humanity, presented in Christ to our faith, 
is, in respect of its perfection, what leads us up to the 
mystery of the divinity of Christ as truly as His power 
to quicken and sustain sonship in spirit and in truth in 
us does. I can realise neither without feeling shut up 
to the faith of the divinity of the Saviour ; while that 
faith so accords with the facts the contemplation of 
which thus leads directly to it, that, being received, it 
sheds light on them. For, believing in the divinity of 
Christ, we see how the atonement has that commensu- 
rateness with the infinite evil of sin, and infinite excel- 
lence of righteousness, which imparts to it its peace- 
giving power ; we see how Christ is near to us in that 
nearness that accords with His being our life, and* has 
that power in relation to us which justifies the confi- 
dence that through Christ strengthening us we can 
do all things. 

But viewed in itself, this faith has in it the deepest 
mystery ; but it is mystery in the region in which we 
are prepared for mystery, being, first, in the manner of 
being of God, and then, where the line of meeting is 
between God and man. For here, also, we are pre- 
pared for mystery ; and while we expect to understand 



CONCLUSION, 375 

what pertains to the human side of this line and to 
the divine nature as in humanity ^ we do not expect to 
understand what is on the divine side, and pertains 
to the acting of God as God. As to that ultimate 
mystery which our faith receives in believing in God 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, while in 
itself eternal, and irrespective of all finite existence, we 
can only be called to the study of it in its manifestation 
in connexion with man. But even in this manifestation 
there remains a necessity for recognising the distinction 
now made. What the divine sonship is in its spiritual 
essence and consciousness, as presented to our faith in 
Christ, and as that to the fellowship of which we are 
ourselves called in Him, this, the very nature of the 
divine purpose in relation to us prepares us to expect 
to understand. But the nature of the relation of the 
Son of God to humanity, whether we contemplate His 
own personal work in making His soul an offering for 
sin, making an end of sin, and bringing in everlasting 
righteousness, or His work in men as putting forth the 
power in them which is implied in His being their life ; — 
this belongs to the acting of God as God, and to the 
divinity of the Son of God, in an aspect of the subject 
which all experience in thinking of our relation to God 
prepares us not to be able to understand. 

Nor is the question of how this can be, or what the 
manner of the divine acting is, which it implies, the only 
mystery here. The faith of the divinity of the Saviour, 
while in one view it affords light and explanation as to 
the facts which constitute the gospel, in truth involves 
and deepens all the moral arid spiritual mysteries of our 
existence. 

I believe, as I have said, that the faith of the atone- 
ment, and the faith that we have eternal life in Christ, 
is more easy to us when it rests on the faith of the 



376 CONCLUSION. 

divinity of Christ. Indeed, apart from that previous 
faith, the fiiith of what the gospel reveals Christ to be 
to us, is to me impossible. I cannot believe in one as 
my life, of whom I am not warranted to think as God ; 
while, remembering that in God I live, and move, and 
have my being, I seem prepared to be told — I had 
almost said to understand — ^that the divine life of son- 
ship is what I am to live in and by the Son of God 
as my life. The universal relation of men to the one 
Son of God, as He in whom they all have the life 
of sonship, accords as perfectly with the divinity of 
the Son of God, as it contradicts every lower conception 
of His being ; and the Apostle, who preached to the 
Athenians, in relation to the unknown God whom they 
ignorantly worshipped, that " in Him they lived, and 
moved, and had their being," must be regarded as only 
presenting to our faith another part of the truth of 
man's mysterious relation to God, when He makes 
known the mystery hid from ages and generations, — 
the mystery of " Christ in men the hope of glory." Nay, 
how closely the one revelation is related to the other, 
we must see, if we connect the use which the Apostle 
makes of the recognition of man's relation to God by 
one of their own poets — "For we are all His offspring," 
with our relation to Christ in respect to that life of 
sonship in which alone men can call God Father in 
spirit and in truth. Surely the parallelism of these 
relationships to the Father and the Son is a help to our 
fiiith in the divinity of the Son, as it also explains the 
fact that this mystery of the divine existence is made 
knovm to us. But still, as I have said, this mystery, 
apart altogether from what men have felt of its intel- 
lectual diflSculty, deepens the previous mysteries of 
reason with which all thoughtful minds have been 
exercised from the beginning. 



CONCLUSION. 377 

Thus the great mystery of combined dependence 
and independence, as presented by our relation to God, 
— the mystery implied in the fact that in God we live, 
and move, and have our being, and yet that we may 
be the opposite of what God wills us to be ; this is not 
removed, but only deepened by all the thoughts of our 
relation to God which are connected with our relation 
to the Son of GoA 

If we think of the matter in the way of considering 
how, in the nature of things, the spiritual constitution 
of humanity can be a reality, there is no question that 
a manner of nearness to God and to goodness, is sug- 
gested by the statement that " God has given to us eter- 
nal life in His Son," — understood as implying an actual 
relation of our spirits to Christ as present in us — our 
true and proper life, which it is still more difficult to 
reconcile in our thoughts with the fact of what in sin 
men are, than even our ^' living, and moving, and having 
our being in God/' 

If, again, we look at the subject in relation to the 
divine will as a will concerning us, the choice of God for 
men, in proportion as the gospel reveals the hve in which 
the law has its root, and shews the demand ^r hve to be 
the demand of hve, the difficulty that exists in the fact 
of our being other than that love desires that we should 
be, is increased, and reaches its maximum of difficulty 
when the love, which is seen seeking our well-being, 
is seen as the fatherliness that is in God, and its choice 
for us is seen as participation in the life of sonship, and 
the provision for the realisation of that desire, is seen 
in the gift to us of this eternal life in the Son. As- 
suredly the mystery, the moral and spiritual mystery, 
is here increased in proportion as it is seen to be a mys- 
tery thus involving infinite love. But^ though increased 



378 CONCLUSION. 

by all that magnifies Qod's unspeakable gift^ let us not 
forget that it is not less truly the mystery of reason 
than the mystery of revelation. 

Doubtless it is with a sense of mystery, often alto- 
gether oppressive, that we look upon human sin and 
degradation, and then pass upwards to the Father of 
the spirits in whom the sin and degradation present 
themselves, and meditate on the thoughts of that Father 
in relation to them, and on all that our faith apprehends 
of what He has done, and is doing, to accomplish in 
them the good pleasure of His goodness. . But though 
this mystery is greatest in the light of the gospel, 
it is great, very great, in the light of all those witnesses 
for His goodness towards men, without which God 
has never left Himself; and in respect of which the 
charge is just, that, in not being thankful, men were 
refusing to glorify God as God. 

Some would cut this knot by saying, that all con- 
tradiction between what God is, and what God wills, is 
but apparent; that nothing is, or can be, other than 
what God wills it to be ; — and that facts in the moral 
and spiritual region, even those that seem most contrary 
to the mind of God, are really related to Him just as 
physical facts are — hatred and love as much as cold 
and heat. Hatred may believe this, but love cannot 
Self may believe that there is an end present to the 
divine mind which all moral events equally and neces- 
sarily subserve, and with reference to which it is that 
God wills them to be, and which it may call the divine 
glory. But love cannot believe that the divine glory is 
of this nature, or that that will, in respect of which 
God is love, and the manifestation of which must be 
His glory, can, in respect of moral beings, be fulfilled 
but in their loving^ 



CONCLUSION. 379 

The existence of a contradiction between what man 
is, and what God wills him to be, is indeed a mystery. 
The faith of the fact, however, is demanded by what 
is highest and deepest within us; which forbids 
our grasping at a seeming intellectual consistency of 
thought, at the expense of denying this contradiction, 
and accepting all the fearfiil moral and spiritual results 
which such denial involves. And even as to the in- 
tellectual relief sought, in denying that contradiction 
between man and God, which all ascription of goodness 
to God, and all hope of goodness for man alike imply, 
(for if evil be not contrary to the will of God, what 
hope of deliverance from it?) this seeming intellectual 
relief is but such in seeming ; for it is but the removal 
of the contradiction, from where conscience recognises 
its existence, to place it in God Himself, by represent- 
ing Him as what the Apostle so solemnly disclaims His 
being — a fountain giving forth at the same time sweet 
waters and bitter. 

Nor can we be otherwise than thankful for the 
utter failure of all attempts made in this direction to 
solve this great moral and spiritual mystery ; for its 
weight is nothing in comparison of what would be laid 
upon us by taking away the faith that God is love 
which involves that mystery, and representing the 
great First Cause as at the most only an intelligent fate. 
Nay, we may surely say, that what of mystery in 
relation to the actual facts of human existence, as it 
presents itself to us, the faith of love involves, the faith 
of love will itself enable us to submit to in the patience 
of hope. 

But if the love of God to man presents deep mys- 
teries, and mysteries that deepen to our apprehension as 
our faith that God is love is real, having also more 



380 CONCLUSION. 

daim on our attention in proportion as they are 
not intellectual, but moral and spiritual ; and, more 
especially, if that spiritual constitution of the king- 
dom of God in relation to man, which the gospel re- 
veals, be the deepening to the utmost of that mystery 
which the contradiction between what man is and what 
God wills him to be presents, how have I now attempted 
to illustrate the nature of the atonement, without enter- 
ing upon the consideration, either of this moral and 
spiritual mystery, or of the intellectual mysteries to 
which the atonement is related ? Because none of the 
mysteries which encompass the atonement are so re- 
lated to it, as that we must first solve them before we 
can understand it; a course the opposite of this is 
rather that to which we are called ; and whether we 
would ascend upwards to questions connected with the 
name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
or meditate on the present or future of man, the due 
preparation for these regions of thought, is, the exercise 
of faith in the actual condition of things which the 
gospel reveals, and which, in the light of the kingdom 
of God within us, and in the measure in which we are 
taught of God, we know as the truth. 

I have, therefore, felt at liberty to consider the 
nature of the atonement, without first considering the 
mysteries which encompass it. Nay, what I have just 
said implies, that I must have begun with this subject, 
had my ultimate purpose been to consider these mys- 
teries ; so that even in regard to those questions in 
relation to God and man, which take us most to the 
verge of light, the inquiry which has now engaged us 
attaches to itself all the interest and importance which 
may be felt to belong to them. 

But while I hope for good only from all holy and 



CONCLUSION. 381 

reverent meditation on any of the deeper subjects of 
thought to which I have now referred, my immediate 
purpose has not been to offer help towards such medi- 
tation, though I should be thankftd to be found to have 
^actually done so, — as doubtless much of what has now 
been presented to the reader's consideration has been 
such help to myself, — but my immediate object has been 
the urgent practical one of illustrating that spiritual 
constitution of things in which, in the grace of God, 
we have a place, and to which we must needs be con- 
formed if we would partake in the great salvation- 
Such conformity, that Amen of faith to the atonement 
which I have sought to illustrate, is that to which our 
Lord calls us when He says, — "Seek ye first the 
kingdom of God and His righteousness," — adding, in 
order that we may be altogether free to give heed to 
the call, the assurance, "and all other things will be 
added unto you." All inquiry as to what is the truth 
is solemn, and the sense of responsibility that belongs 
to it, weighty. But, manifestly, that inquiry becomes 
more solemn, and that responsibility more weighty, in 
proportion as the answer to the question, — " What am 
I to think? — What am I to believe?" — becomes one 
with the answer of the question, — " What am I called 
to bef'^ And this is the solemnity, this the importance 
that belongs to the question of the nature of the 
atonement. 

The reader who has accompanied me to the close of 
this volume, in the fair mind, and with the patience of 
love, has, I trust, felt that throughout I have simply 
sought to awaken a response in his own inner being, — 
whether in this I have succeeded or have not, — and 
that I have written, not with the interest of theological 
controversy, but as a man communing with his brother 



382 CONCLUSION. 

man^ and giving utterance to the deep convictions of 
his own heart as to the spiritual need of humanity, and 
the common salvation. For I have written as seeming 
to myself to hear, and as desiring to be used to help 
others to hear with personal and practical application, 
the Son of God saying to us, '^ I am the way, and the 
truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, 
but by me," the Father saying to us, ''This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye Him/' 



THE END, 



LIST OP BOOKS QUOTED, WITH THE EDITIONS FROM 
WHICH THE QUOTATIONS ARE TAKEN. 

Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, By Mabtin 
LuTHEB. London: Printed for Mathews and Leigh, Strand; by 
S. Gosnell, Little Queen Street. 1810. 

TTie Works of John Owen, D.D. Edited by the Rev. 
William H. Goold, Edinburgh. (Vol. X.) Johnstone and 
Hunter, London and Edinburgh. 1852. 

The Works o/'Pbesident Edwabds, in 4 Vols. A Reprint of 
the Worcester Edition, with valuable Additions, and a copious 
General Index. New York: Leavitt, Trow, and Co. 194, 
Broadway; London: Wiley and Putnam. 1844. 

Four Discourses on the Sacrifice and Priesthood of Jesus 
Christy and the Atonement and Redemption thence accruing. By 
John Pye Smith, D.D. F.R.S. Third Edition. London: 
Jackson and Walford. 1847. 

Lectures on Divine Sovereignty^ Election^ the Atonemsnt^ Justi- 
fication^ and Regeneration, By Geobge Payne, LL.D. Exeter. 
Second Edition. London: James Dinnis, 62, Patemoster-row. 

1838. 

On the Extent of the Atonement , in its Relation to God and the 
Universe, By the Rev. Thomas W. Jenkyn, Second Edition. 
London: John Snow, 26, Paternoster-row. 1837. 

Discourses on the Nature and Extent of the Atonement 
of Christ. By Ralph Wardlaw, D.D. Fourth Thousand. 
Glasgow: James Maclehose, 83, Buchanan Street. 1844. 



LIST OF BOOKS QUOTED. 

A Treatise an the Physical Cause of the Sufferings of Christy 

and its Relation to the principles and practice of Christianity. By 

William Stroud, M.D. London: Hamilton and Adams, 
33, Paternoster-row. 1847. 

Institutes of Theology. By the late Thomas Chalmers, 
D.D. LL.D. in 2 Vols. Vol II. Published for Thomas Constable, 
by Sutherland and Knox, Edinburgh. Hamilton and Adams, 
and Co. London. 1849. 

The Atomng Work of Christ, By William Thomson, M.A. 
Oxford. 



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THE ANNIVERSARIES. 
Poems in Commemoration of Great Men and Great 

Events. By Thomas H. Gill. Fcap. Svo. cloth, 5«. 

'' J%e rich merits of a volume which, as it has stirred and delighted us, we trust 
mau he diffused everywhere where its Christian thoughtfulness and English 
nobleness can he felt andprited." — ^NoNCOiiroRHlBT. 

B7 FREEMAN OLIVER HATNES, ESQ., 

Barrister-ai-Law, 

Equity Sketches: Being Lectures delivered in the 

Hall of the Incorporated Law Society of the United Kingdom, in 
1867—8, Crown 8vo, doth, 9*. 

B7 ALEXANDER SMITH, 

Author of a " Life Drama, and other Poems." 

City Poems. Fcap. 8vo. doth, 5s. 

^ Eehas attained at times to a quiet continuity of thought, and susf^ned strength 
of coherent utterance . . . hi gives us many passages that sound the deeps of 
feeling,andleaoe us satisfied with their sweetness." — North British Bjbtisw. 

BT JAMES FORD, MJL 

Prebendary of Baeter. 

Steps to the Sanctuary ; or, the Order for Morning 
Prayer set forth and explained in Verse. 

Crown Svo. doth, 2«. M, 
" Welt eakuUded to he m^.**— UoKEnzTG Hxrild. 



PUBUSBBD BT JCACUILLAN AKD CO. ( 

B7 JOHN MALCOLM LUDLOW, 

Barrister-at-Law, 

British India^ Its Baces, and its History, down to the Mutinies of 

1857. A Series of Lectures. 

S vols. fcap. 8yo. oloth, 9^. 

" The heH kitiorieal Indian manual existing, one that ought to be in the kandt of 
every man who writes, speaks, or votes on the Indian question^ — ^Ez^mNER. 

*' A work of sterting- valve, a most excellent r/sum^ of Indian history "'--Kouz- 
▼AKD Mail. 



THE REPUBLIC OF PLATO. 
A New Translation into English. By J. Ll. Davies, 

M.A., and D. J. Yaughak, M.A., Tellows of Trinity College^ 
Cambridge. S£C0nd Edition. 8yo. cloth» 10«. Qd, 

** So eloquent and correct a version will, we trust, induce manv to become students 
of the Republic, . . The whole book is scholarlike and able.—QvABDiAJS. 

" Free, nervous, idiomatic English, such as will fascinate the reader.** — NoifCON- 

fORMIST. 



BT OEOBGE WILSON, M.D., F.R.S.E., 

Re^ut Professor of Technology in lft« University of Edinburgh ; afid Director of the 

Industrial Museum of Scotland. 

Sixth Thousand. 

The Five Gateways of Knowledge. A Popular Work on 

the Five Senses. In fcap. Svo. cloth^ with gilt leaves, 3«. %d, 
Peofle's Editioit, in ornamental stiff covers, It. 

** This tamous town ot Mansoul had Five Gates The names oe 

THE Qates were THESE : £ar Oate, Etb Gate, Mouth Gats, Nose 
Gate, and Feel Gate.'^ — ^Buntan*s Holt War. 

** Charms and enlivens the attention whilst the heart and understanding are im- 
proved // is an invaluable little book.**—Jonv BuL^ 

'* Dr. Wilson unites poetic with scientific faculty, and this union gives a charm to 
all he writes. In the little volume before us he has described the fixe senses in 
language so popular that a child may comprehend the meaning, so suggestive 
thid philosophers will read it with pleasure,** '^-htAiaB., 



IfSW WOBKS XKB NEW BDITIOS^ 



THE frORKS OF 

WILLIAM ABGHEB BUTLEB, H.A., 

£««« Pro/ssMor of Moral Philoaophy inihe University 0/ JDublin, 
FIFE rOZVMES Svo, VNIFORMLT FMNTED AND BOUND, 
" A Him of ffUming jfmtiut mid dherHfied aeeompU$hmeni9, wb»r« remaint fiU 

SOLD SBPJRATBLT AS FOLLOWS. 

1. Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical. Fibst Semes. 

Edited by the Very BeT. Thos. Woodward, M.A., Dean of Down, 
with a Memoir and Portrait. Fourth Edition. Svo. cloth, 12s, 

" Fretent a richer eomhinoHon of the qwditiesfor Sermons of the firtt cUu$ ihun 
imy tee have met wih in any Heing mriier.**'^BjaTJaB. Quakterlt. 

2. Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical. Second Series. 

Edited from the Author's MSS., by J. A. Jeremib, D.D., Begius 
Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. Second 
Edition. Svo. cloth, I0«. 6d, 

'* They are marked by the tame oriyinalUy and vigour of eMoression, the same 
riehnett of imagery and illustratumy the tame large viewt and catholic tpirityand 
the tame depth and fervour of devotional feeling, which to remarkably dittin- 
guithed the preceding Seriet and which retiAered it a mott valuable aceettion to 
our theologtcal Uierature" -^Stovi Dk. Jiremub's Pbxtaci. 

3. Letters on Romanism, in Beply to Dr. Newman's Essay on 
Development. Edited by the Very Rev. Thomas Woodward, M. A., 
Dean of Down. Second Edition. Bevised by the Bev. Charles 
Harowxck, M.A., Christlaa Advocate in the University of 
Cambridge. Svo. cloth, 10«. ^d, 

**• Deserve to be considered the most remarkable proof t of the Author's indomi' 
table energy and power of concentration,** — ^Edinburgh Keview. 

4. Lectures on the History of Ancient Philosophy. 

Edited from the Author's MSS., with Notes, by William 
HsFWOBTH Thompson, M.A., Regius Professor of Greek in the 
University of Cambridge. 2 vols. Svo., £1 5s. 

** Of the diateetie imdphysies of Plato they are the only exposition at once futt 
meeurateiSmd p<mular, with wJuehl am acquainted : being far more accurate than 
the French, and incomparably more popular than the German treatises on these 
departments of the Flatonic philosophy ^--^^m Paor. Thompson's Pjlbpace. 



PUBLISHED BT MACUILLAK AND CO. ? 

THIBD EDITION. 
Lectures to Ladies on Practical Subjects. Ctown 8vo. 78,6d. 

By F. D. MA.uitiOfl, Ohasli^s Kikoalbt, J. Ll. Datiks, Ascs- 
DBACOV ALLttir, Dbak Tkskch, PBonasaoB Brswib, Dr. Gborgb 
JoHNSOK, Dr. Sibybkino, Dr. Chambbbs^ F. J. Stbfhbit, Esq. and 
Tom TatlOb, EAq. 

CONTBNTS : — Plan of Female Colleges — The College and the Hospital — 
The Countxy Parish — Overwork and Anxiety — Dispensaries — Dis- 
trict Visiting — Influence of Occupation on Health — Law as it affects 
the Poor — Everyday Work of Ladies — Twehing by Wordi — Sani- 
tary Law — ^Workhouse Yisiting. 

'* TAess nun^ thenuelveg an honour to their timety do honour to woman hy giving 
her the benefit of the beet thoughts of manly minds.**— ^l1!fBVt.Gl[ Kevuw. 

PARAGUAY, BRAZIL, AND THE PLATE. 

By Charles Mansfield, M.A., Clare College, Cam- 
bridge. Witli a Life by Crabies Kikgblbt, B«etor of Eversley. 
Post 8vo* With Map and uumerous Llustrations. 12«. 6^. 

** Jn interesting and instructive volume** — MoBjfiNO Post. 

BY THE RIGHT REV. JOHN WILLIAM COLENSO, D.D., 

Lord Bishop of Natal, formerlp Fellow of St. John'ji College, Cambridge. 

1. The Colony of Natal. A Journal of Ten Weeks' Tour of 

Visitation among tke Colonists and Zulu Kaffirs of Natal. With 
. four Lithographs and a Map. Fcap. 8vo. cloth, Bs. 

**J most interesting and charmingly written little book.** — Examiner. 
** The Church has good reason to be grateful for the publication** 

ColXfSlkX OhUBCB CHaONI0L£. 

2. Village Sermons. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. cloth, 2*. 6flf, 

3. Companion to the Holy Communion. The Service, 

with Select Readings from the Writings of Mr. MAURICI). 
Fine Edition, rubricated and bound in morocco antique, gilt 
edges, 6tf. ; or in cloth, red edges, 2^. ^d. ; common paper, limp 
cloth, 1«. 

BY CHARLES ANTHONY SWAtNSON, M.A«, 

Principai of the Theological College, and JPrebendarg of Chichester. 

The Creeds of The Church. In their Relations to the 
Word of God and to the Conscience of the Christian. Being 
the Hulsean Lectures for 1857. Svo. cloth, 9«. 

Contents : — I. Faith in God. —II. Exercise of our Reason. — III. Origin 
and Authority of Creeds. — IV. Iikduotive Proof of the Creeds. — 
V. Continual Guidance of the Spirit. — VI. Test and Application of 
Scripture. — ^VIL Private Judgment.— VIII. Strengthening of the 
Judgmeat stid the Ptepaitttaon for ConiroTcri^. With an Appendix. 



18 KSW WORKS AND NEW EOITIONSi 

BT JULIUS CHARLES HARE, M.A., 

S0at€UaM ArehdMUPU of Lewu, Rector of Herttmoneeux, Chaplain in Ordinary to ike 
Queen^ andformerlp Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, 

NINE VOLS, 8w. UNIFORMLY PRINTED AND BOUND. 

1, Charges to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of 

Lewes. Deli?ered at the Ordinary Yisitations daring the years 
1840 to 1854, with Notes on the Principal Events affecting the 
Church during that period. And an Introduction, explanatory of 
his position in the Church, with reference to the Parties which 
divide it. 3 toIs. 8vo. cloth, £1 \\s, 6d, 

2. Miscellaneous Pamphlets on some of the Leading 

Questions agitated in the Church during the years 1845 to 1851. 

Svo. cloth, 12«. 

8, Vindication of Luther against his recent English 

Assailants. Second Edition. Svo. clotii, 7s. 

4. The Mission of the Comforter. With Notes. Second 

Edition. 8vo. cloth, 12«. 

5, The Victory of Faith. Second Edition. Svo. cloth, 5*. 

6. Parish Sermons. Second Series. Svo. cloth, 12«. 

7. Sermons preacht on Particular Occasions. Svo. 12*. 

I%e iwofoUowing books are included among the ooUeeted Chargei^ but are published 

separately for purchasers of the rest, 

8, Charges to 'the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of 

Lewes. Delivered in the years 1843, 1845, 1846. Never 
before published. With an Introduction, explanatory of his 
position in the Church, with reference to the Parties that divide 
it. Svo. cloth, 6*. 6rf. 

9. The Contest with Rome. A Charge, delivered in 1851. 
With Notes, especially in answer to De. Newman on the Position 
of Catholics in England. Second fklition. Svo. cloth, 10«. 6^. 



PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN AND CO. 9 

BT JOHN McLEOD CAMPBELL, 

Pormerlp MinMer of Jtoto, 

The Nature, of the Atonement, and its Relation to 
Remission of Sins and Eternal Life. 

8vo. cloth, 10*. 6rf. 

*^ This U a remarkable hooky a» indicating the mode in which a devout and iniel' 
lectual mind has fotmd its watfy eUmost unassitted, out of the extreme Lutheran 
and Calvinistie views of the Atonement into a healthier atmosphere of doctrine . 
. , , We cannot assent to all the positions laid down by this writer, but he is 
entitled to be spoken respectfully of both because of his evident earnestness and 
reality, and the tender mode in which he deals with the opinions of others from 
whom he feels compelled to differ^ — Litzraky Chuschuah. 

" Deserves wide celebrity!* — Chkistian Times. 

BY THE RIGHT REV. G. E. LYNCH COTTON, D.D., 

Lord Bishop of CeUeutta and Metropolitan of India. 

Sermons and Addresses delivered in the Chapel of 
Marlborough College, during Six Years, 1852-8. 

Crown 8vo. cloth, price 10*. 6f/. 
** We can heartily recommend this volume as a most suitable present for a youth, 
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Sermons : Chiefly connected with Public Events in 1854. 

Fcap. Sto. cloth, 3«. 
** A volume of which we can speak with high admiraium" 

ChRISTIAH BSHSHBRAnCER. 

BY JOHN HAMILTON, Esq. (of St. Eman%) M.A., 

St. John's College, Cambridge. 

On Truth and Error : Thoughts, in Prose and Verse, 

on the Principles of Truth, and the Causes and Effects of Error. 
Grown 8to. bound in cloth, with red leaves, 10*. 6d. 

**A very genuine, thoughtful, and interesting book, the work of a man cf honest 
mind and pure heart; one who has felt the pressure of religious difficulties, 
u^ has thought for himself on the matters of which he doubted, and^ho has 
patienily and piously worked his way to conclusions which he now reverently but 
fearlessly utters to the world** — ^Noncohformist. 

A 8 



10 NEW WORKS Ain> KBW BDITI0K8, 

B7 CHABLES EIMGSLET, F.8.A., 

Rector o/JSvertlep^ and Canon t^f Middlekam. 

1. Two Years Ago. Second Edition. 

3 vols, crown 8vo. cloth, £1 11». M. 
"Much, the best book Mr* Kingtley hat written,** — Satubimlt Rbyibw. 

New and Cheaper Edition. 

2. The Heroes : Greek Fairy Tales for my Children. 

1. Perseus. 2. The Argonauts. 3. Theseus. New and Cheaper 
Edition, with Eight Illustrations, engraved by Whymper. Royal 
16 mo. beautifully printed on toned paper by Clay, aoid bound in 
extra cloth, with gilt edges, 5«. 

** We donbt not they will be read by many a youth with an enchained interest 
almost as strong as the links which bound Andromeda to her rock.^* — ^Bbitish 

QUABTERLT. 

" Barely have those heroes of Greek tradition been celebrated in a bolder or more 
stirring strain" — Satukda.y Eeview. 

3. "Westward Ho!" or the Voyages and Adven- 

tures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Borrough, in the County 
of Devon, in the reign of Her most Glorious Majesty Queen 
Elizabeth. Third Edition. Crown 8vo. cloth, 7*. M, 

*' Mb. Kinoslet has selected a pood su^efit, and has written a good novel to 

ezeeUent purposed* ^Tbx Times. 
' * htjbU and weU-timed.^ — Sfectatob . 

4. Glaucus ; or, the Wonders of the Shore. A Com- 

panion for the Sesrside. Containing Coloured Fkntes of the 
Objects mentioned in the Work, by G. B. Sowbrbt, F.L.S. 
Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. bemitifully bound in clot^, with gilt 
leaves, 6«. M, 
\* The Illustrated Oompaoion may also be had aeporat^f price 3«. 6<2. 

** lis page* sparkle with life^ they open up a thousand sources of unanticipated 
pleasure^ and combine amusement with instruction in a very happy and unwonted 
degree,**— .^LMGTic Bevisw. 

5. Phaethon ; or, Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers. 

Third Edition. Crown 8vo. boards, 2«. 

'* Its suggestions may meet halfway many a latent doubt, and, like a light breeze, 
lift from the soul clouds thai are gathering heaviiy, and ihreatming to settle 
wnon in wintry glooM on the eummer of many a fair iutd promising young life" 
— Sfectatob. 

6, Alexandria and Her Schools. Being Four Lectures delivered 

at the Philosophical Institution, Edinburgh. With a Preface. 

Crown. Svo. cloth, bs, 

** A series of brilliant Uoaraphieal and lilerary sketches, interspersed with com' 
ments of the closest modem, or rather universal application^ — Spectator. 



PUBUSHJSD BT MACKTT.T.AN AUTD CO. 11 

BY THE RIGHT REV. GEORGE AUGUSTUS SELWYN, D.D., 

Lord Bishop of New Zealandf formerly Fellow of St. John's Collie, Cambridge. 

The Work of Christ in the Worid. Sermons Preached 

before the UniTersity of Cambridge. Third Edition. Published 
for the benefit of the New Zealand Church Fund. 

Crown 8vo. 2*. 

B7 CHARLES HARDWICK, M.A., 

Christian Adweate in the University of Cambridge, 

Christ and other Masters : A Historical Inquiry into 

some of the chief Parallelisms and Contrasts between Christianity 
and the Religious Systems of the Ancient World ; with special 
reference to prevailing Difficulties and Objections. 

Part I. Introduction. Part II. Religions of India. Part III. 
Religions of China, America, and Oceanica. Part lY. Reli- 
gions of Egypt and Medo-Persia. In 8vo. cloth, 7s, Qd. each. 

** Never was so difficttlt and complicated a subject as the history of Tagan 
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, . . There are few books which we have read with greater satisfaction and 
advaniage," — CcAoiriAL CuuBCH Chsonicle. 

BY THE VERY REV, R. CHENEVIX TRENCH, D.D. 

Dean of Westminster. 

The Fitness of Holy Scripture for unfolding the 

Spiritual life of Idun, and Christ the Desire of all Nations ; or 
the Unconscious Prophecies of Heathendom ; being the Hulsean 
Lectures for 1845 and 1846. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5*. 

Synonyms of the New Testament. 

Tourth Edition, Ecap. 5^. 

Sermons Preached before the University of Cambridge. 

Eoap. 8to. %si ^d. 



12 NEW WORKS AND NEW EDITIONS, 

THE WORSHIP OF GOD 

AND FELLOWSHIP AMONG MEN. 

A Series of Sermons on Public Worship. Fcap. 8?o. 3». 6rf. 

I. Preaching, a Call to Worship. By Rev. F. D. Mauriob.— II. Common 
Prayer, the Method of Worship. By Rev. T. J. Rowbbll.— III. Baptism, 
an admisnion to the Privilege of Worship. By Rev. J. Ll. Da vies. — 
IV. The Lord's Supper, the most Sacred Bond of Worship. By Rev. 
D. J. Vauohan.— V. The Sabbath Day, the Refreshment of Worship. 
By Rev. J. Ll. Davieb.— VI. The Bible, the Revelation of the Beginning 
and End of Worship. By Rev. F. D. Maurice. 

BY THOMAS RAWSON HIRES, M.A., 

Rector of Kehhallt Examining Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Carlisle f 
Author of** The Life of the Rev. S. Biokersteth." 

The Difficulties of Belief, in connexion with the 
Creation and the Fall. Crown 8vo. cloth, is, 6rf. 

" Aprofound and masterly essay" — Eclectic. 

** Uis arguments are original^ and careffUly and logieaUy elaborated. We may 

add that they are distinguished by a marked sobriety and reverence /or the Word 

of Ood** — Recokd. 

SERMONS PREACHED IN UPPINGHAM SCHOOL. 

By the Rev. Edward Taring, M.A., Head Master. 

Crown 8vo. cloth, 5«. 

*' We desire very hwhly to commend these capital Sermons, which treat of a 
hoy's life and trials in a thoroughly practical way, and with great simplicity 
and impressiveness. They deserve 'to be dossed with the best of their 
kind" — ^LiTSRART Churchman. 

BY THE HON. HENRY E. J. HOWARD, D.D., 

Dean of Lichfield, 

The Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses. 

Translated into English from the Version of the LXX. With 
Kotes on its Omissions and Insertions, and also on the Passages 
in' which it differs from the Authorised Version. 

3 Yols. crown 8?o. cloth. Sold separately, as follows : — 

Genesis. ] vol s^.erf. Exodus and Leviticus, ivol. 10«.6^. 
Numbers and Deuteronomy, i vol. lo*. 6rf. 

**The Work deserves high commendation: it is an excellent introduction to the 
comparative study of Ood^s Wordy in these three languages with which an 
ordinary English student is mainly, if not entirely concerned" — Ovakdias. 



PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN AKD CO. 13 

BY DAVID MASSON, M.A., 

Profe»$or of English Literature in University College, London. 

Essays, Biographical and Critical : chiefly on English 

Poets. 8vo. cloth, 12*. M, 

CONTENTS, 
1. Shakespeare and Goethe. — II. Milton's Youth. ^— III. The Three 
Devils : Luther's, Milton's, and Goethe's. — IV. Dryden, and the Litera- 
ture of the Restoration. — V. Dean Swift. — VI. Chatterton : a Story of 
the Year 1770.— VII. Wordsworth.— VIII. Scottish Influence on British 
Literature. — IX. Theories of Poetry. — X. Prose and Verse : De Quincey. 

'* Mr. Maseon hat succeeded in producing a series of critidsms in relation to 
creative literature^ which are s<Uisfactory as well as subtile^ — which are not only 
ingeniouSy but which possess the rarer recommendation of being usually just . . . 
But we pass over these Essays to that which is in the main a new^ and, according 
to our Judgmenty an excellent biographical sketch of Chatterton. . . This * Story 
of the Tear 1770,* as Mr.Masson entitles ity stands for nearly ZOO pages in his 
volume, and containsy by preference, the fruits ofhts judgment anu research in 
an elaborated and discursive memoir. . . Its merit consists in the illustration 
afforded by Mr, MassotCs inquiries into contemporary cireumstanceSy and the 
Clear traces thus obtained of Chatierton*s London Itfe and experience. . . . 
Mr. Masson unravels this mystery very completely.*' — ^1'imes. 

** Distinguished by a remarkable power of analysisy a clear statement of the actual 
facts on which speculation is basedy and an a/ppromiate beauty of language. 
These Essays should be popular with serious men. — ^Thx Athinjbum. 

BY ISAAC TAYLOR, ESQ., 

Author of " The Natural History of Snthusieum.** 

The Restoration of Belief. 

Grown 8vo. cloth, 8«. Qd, 

**A volume which contains logical sagacity , and philosophic comprehension, as well 
as the magnanimity and courage of faith y in richer profusion than any other 
work bearing on religious matters' thai has been addressed to this generation, 
* The Restoration of Belief* may, in many rejects, take a place among the 
books of the nineteenth century, corresponding to that justly conceded by us 
to the * Analogy^ of Butler in the literature of the last age, or to the * Thoughts 
of Pascal in that of the c^e preceding** — Noeth British Keyiew. 

BT JOHN HERBERT LATHAM, MX 

Civil Engineer. Fellow of Clare College^ Cambridge. 

The Construction of Wrought-Iron Bridges, embracing 

the Practical Application of the Principles of Mecnanics to Wrought- 
Iron Girders. With numerous detail Plates. 8vo. cloth, 16*. 

" A very valuable and interesting work. . . . The practical and scientific man will 
be able to judge of its importance when we say that the promises held out in the 
Preface are fulfilled in the most painstaking, clear, and accurate manner. To 
the prof essional man, we should imagine, Mr. Latham will have rendered invalu- 
able service by this book. . . . We have no hesitation in saying that it is a work 
of thegreateH value, not only to professional men as an aid to practice, but to 
the world at large, as tending to reduce the scietice to mathematical accurgcy, 
and so lessen the chance of ac9ident*''^DiKBY Hekcurt. 



U NEW WORKS AND NVW SDITIOKS, 

TEs WORKS or 

FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, M.A., 

Chaplain of Lincoln** Inn. 

Exposition of the Holy Scriptures : 

(1.) The Patriarchs and Lawgivers. Qs, 

(2.) The Prophets and Kings. 10«. Qd, 

(3.) The Gospels of St. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the 

Epistles of St. Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. 14«. 

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(5.) The Epistles of St. John. 7s. ^d. 

Exposition of the Prayer Book : 

(1.) Sermons on the Ordinary Serrioes. 5«. Qd, 

(2.) The Church a Family : Being Sermons on the Occasional 

Services. 4«. 6d, 

Ecclesiastical History. 10*. 6d 

The Lord's Prayer. Third Edition. 2*. 6d. 

The Doctrine of Sacrifice. 7s. 6rf. 

Theological Essays. Second Edition. 10*. 6d. 

Christmas Day, and other Sermons. lo*. 6d. 

The Religions of the World. Third Edition. 5*. 

Learning and Working. 5». 

The Indian Crisis. Five Sermons. 2*. 6d. 

The Sabbath, and other Sermons. Fcp. 8va cloth, 2*. 6rf. 
Law on the Fable of the Bees. Fcp. 8vo. doth, 4*. ed. 



The Worship of the Church. A Witness for the 

Redemption of the World. ^• 

The Word " Eternal " and the Punishment of the 

Wicked. Third Edition. Is. 

Eternal Life and Eternal Death. i*. 6d. 

The Name Protestant, and the English Bishopric at 

Jerusalem. Second Edition. 3«. 

Right and Wrong Methods of Supporting Pro- 
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1847. 1«. 

The Case of Queen's College, London. u 6</. 

Death and Life. In Memoriam G.BJIL 1#. 

Administrative Reform. ^' 



PUBLISHED BT HACMILLAK AND GO. 

MANUALS FOR THEOLOGICAL STUDENTS, 

UNIFORMLY TRINTEB AND BOUND. 

It itt now about seven years since the Prospectus of this Series was 
first issued. Four volumes have been published, and several 
others are in an advanced state. The reception whidi these 
Tolumes have met with, has fully justified the anticipation with 
which the Publishers commenced the Series, and warrants them 
in the belief, that their aim of supplying books '* concise, com- 
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Student and interesting to the general reader/* has been not 
unsuccessfully fulfilled. 

The following paragraphs appeared in the original Prospectus, and may 
be here conveniently reproduced : — 

" The Authors being Clergymen of the English Church, and the Series 
being designed primarily for tlie use of Candidates for oflBee in 
her Ministry, the books will seek to be in accordance with her 
spirit and principles ; and as the spirit and principles of th^ 
English Church teach charity and truth, so in treating of the 
opinions and principles of other communions, every effort will 
be made to avoid acrimony or misrepresentation. 

"It will be the aim of the writers throughout the Series to avoid all 
dogmatic expression of doubtful or individual opinions." 

I. 

A General View of the History of the Canon of the 

New Testament during the FIRST POUR CENTURIES. 

By Brooke Pobs Westcott, M.A., Assistant Master of Harrow 

School, formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Crown 8vo. cloth, 12«. %d. 

** The Author is one of thoie who are t^aehinff rns that it i* possible to rifie the 
storehouses cf German theoloffy^ mthout bearing atcay the taint of their atmo' 
sphere : and to recognise the value of their aeomtfUated treasnreSy and even 
track the vagaries of their theoreOe ingenuity ^ wHhovt eU>andomnff in the pursuit 
the dear si^ht and sound feeling of English common sense . . . . Itis by far 
the best and most complete booh of the land; and toe should be glad t» see it 
veil placed on the lists of our examining chaplains" — GuAEDlAJif . 

^''Leatmedf dispassionaioj disorimiuatit^t worthy of his subject^ and the present 
stale of Christian Literature in relation to «^.'*-~Hk[TISH Qua&T£RIiY. 

^t^ the student in Theology it will prove an admirable Text-Book: and to all 
others who have any curiosity on tie subject it will be satirfaetory as one of the 
most useful and instructive pieces of history which the records of tie Church 



16 KKW WOUKS AND NXW SDITIONS^ 

THEOLOGICAL MANUALS-continaed. 

II. 
History of the Christian Church, from Gregory the 
Great to the Reformation (a.d. 590-1600). 

By Chabl£8 Habdwick, M.A., Christian Advocate in the 
university of Cambridge. 

2 vols, crown Svo. 21*. 

Vol. I. contains The History to the Excommunication of Luther. 
With Four Maps. 

Vol. II. contains The History of the Beformation. 

Each Volume may be had separately, price 10«. 6(2. 

** Full in references and auihority, eystematie and formal in division^ with enough 
of life in the style to counteract the dryness inseparable from its brevity^ and 
exhibiting the results rather than the principles of investigation. Ma. Uuld- 
WiCK is to be congratulated on the successful achievement of a difficult task" 
— ^Chkistiak Bxmembbancxr. 

*' He has bestowed patient and extensive reading on the auction of his materials ; 
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compact style.** — Sfxctator. 

'* To a good method and good materials Ma. Habdwick adds that great virtue, 
a perfectly transparent style. We did not expect to find great literary qualities 
in such a manual, but we have found them ; we should be satisfied in this 
respect with conciseness and intelligibility ; but while this book has both, it is 
also elegant, highly finished, and highly interesting" — ^NoNCONroRMiST. 

III. 

A History of the Book of Common Prayer, 

together vitb a Rationale of the several Offices. By Francis 

Procter, M.A., Vicar of Wition, Norfolk, formerly Fellow of 

St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. Third Edition, revised and 

enlarged. Crown Svo. cloth, 10«. 6d, 

"Ma. PaocTxa*8 *Hiitory of the Book of Common Prayer' is by far the best 

commentary extant Not only do the present illustrations embrace the 

whole range of original sources indicated by Ma. Falmxk, but Ma. PaocTEa 
compares the present Booh of Common Prayer with the Sc<^h and American 
forms; and he frequently sets out in full the Sarum Offices. As a manual of 
exteneive information, historieal and rttual, imbued with sound Church prinet» 
pies, we are entirely satisfied with Ma. Paocxaa's important volume.** 

Chbistiah Bjsmxmbbahcxr, 

"His indeed a complete and fairly-written history of the Idturgy; and from the 
dupassionaie way in which disputed points are touched on, will prove to many 
trouble consciences what ought to be known to them, vie. : — that they may, 
without fear of compromising the prinewlescf evangdicai truth, give their assent 
and consent to the contents of the Bowt of Common Prayer. Ma. PaOQTsa has 
done a great service to the Cmiireh by this admirable digest.** 

CnuacH OT £NOLAjrD QuAaTsaLT. 

Of an KAWAis Aaa ni paooans, amb wiu vm AnrouiraiD xm dus tzxb. 



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** Tke book cannot he too ttrongly recommended or too widely circulated. Its 
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NOKCOJiFORMIST, 

By the same Author. 

School Songs. A Collection of Songs for Schools. With the 
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H. Riccius* Music size. is. 6d, 



CONTENTS. 



Good Night.— (jtede?. 
Agkub Del 
CHRiaTHAS Carol. 
Echoes of Uppingham. 
There is a Keaper, Death. 
Burial March of DukdbX. -^ 

Aytoun. 
England's Heroes. 
lYRY.—Lord Macaulay. 
The Red Cross Knight. 
Charge op the Light Brigade, — 

Tewty^on* 
Mat Song. — H^Uy. 
The Rockingham Match. 
Farewell, Thou Koble "Wood. 
Come, Follow Me. 
Ho, Ho, Ho ! Stag and Roe. 



Let Ms Ke^^er Choose. 

Cricket Song. 

With His Bow and Arrows.— 

Weher. 
Fives Song. 

Heigho, Kt Brave Gallants. 
There Livt^) a King in Rhine* 

land. 
Prince Kggenius% 
Dirge. 

The Good Comrade. 
We March to the. Beat of the 

Muffled Drum. 
The Uppingham Chorus. 
Lord, Have Mbrct on Me. 
The Two Hares. 
Th£ Dreaicgl 07 Childhood.